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Women's education and entry into a first union. A simultaneous-hazard comparative analysis of Central and Eastern Europe


  • Francesco C. Billari
  • Dimiter Philipov


The impact of education on women's union formation has long been studied in empirical analyses based on economic and sociological theories. In particular, the literature has shown that the transition to a first union is triggered by the end of education. Mixed evidence has been found on the impact of the level of education. On the other hand, entry into a union usually triggers the end of education. However, the potential endogeneity of educational enrolment and of the timing of union formation has rarely been assessed. In this paper, we use a simultaneous-hazard two-equation model to assess the mutual impact of careers and their potentially common (unobserved) determinants. More specifically, we focus on a yet unstudied institutional setting, namely Central and Eastern European countries. We use micro-data from Fertility and Family Surveys, which refer mainly to the pre-transition period but allow to shed a first light on changes occurring during the transition. Our results for women show that educational enrolment has a key impact on first union formation, but that also the level of education has a substantive impact as expected by Becker's theory. On the other hand, union formation in almost all countries triggers the end of education. Common unobserved determinants of the two careers have a relatively weak importance.

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  • Francesco C. Billari & Dimiter Philipov, 2004. "Women's education and entry into a first union. A simultaneous-hazard comparative analysis of Central and Eastern Europe," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 2(1), pages 91-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:91-110

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    1. Boulier, Bryan L & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1984. "Schooling, Search, and Spouse Selection: Testing Economic Theories of Marriage and Household Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 712-732, August.
    2. Debra Friedman & Michael Hechter & Satoshi Kanazawa, 1994. "A theory of the value of children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(3), pages 375-401, August.
    3. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bilal Barakat & Rachel Durham, 2013. "Drop-out mayors and graduate farmers: Educational fertility differentials by occupational status and industry in six European countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(42), pages 1213-1262, June.
    2. Doreen Huschek & Helga A.G. De Valk & Aart C. Liefbroer, 2010. "Timing of first union among second-generation Turks in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(16), pages 473-504, March.
    3. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:45:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10657-017-9562-7 is not listed on IDEAS

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