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The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns

  • Alena Bicakova
  • Stepan Jurajda

It is well known that highly 'female' fields of study in tertiary education are characterized by higher fertility. However, existing work does not disentangle the selection- causality nexus. We use variation in gender composition of fields of study implied by the recent expansion of tertiary education in 19 European countries and a difference- in-differences research design, to show that the share of women on study peer groups affects early fertility levels only little. Early fertility by endogamous couples, i.e., by tertiary graduates from the same field of study, declines for women and increases for men with the share of women in the group, but non-endogamous fertility almost fully compensates for these effects, consistent with higher early fertility in highly 'female' fields of study being driven by selection of family-oriented students into these fields. We also show that the EU-wide level of gender segregation across fields of study has not changed since 2000.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp504.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp504
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  1. Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross & Yuxiu Zhang, 2013. "The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition," Working papers 2013-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Magali BEFFY & Denis FOUGERE & Arnaud MAUREL, 2009. "Choosing the Field of Study in Post-Secondary Education : Do Expected Earnings Matter ?," Working Papers 2009-14, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih & Kocharkov, Georgi & Santos, Cezar, 2014. "Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 7895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. Bredemeier, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2010. "Assortative Mating and Female Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 5118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban Aucejo & Andrew Hussey & Kenneth Spenner, 2013. "Racial Segregation Patterns in Selective Universities," CEP Discussion Papers dp1219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Michael Baker & Nicole M. Fortin, 2000. "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988," Working Papers baker-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
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