Cross-national differences in the effect of women’s socio-economic status on the timing of first births
At SLLS Inaugural Conference 2010, United Kingdom.
22 - 23 Sep 2010.
Full text not available from this repository.
Over the past 50 years fertility change in the developed world has been characterised by a decline in average family size, a rise in the incidence of childlessness and a delay of childbearing. Sociological, economic and socio-demographic theories stress the central role of women’s increasing participation in the education system and the labour market for understanding these distinct though strongly interrelated components of fertility change. Furthermore, there is strong support in the literature that the strength of the effect of women’s educational and employment characteristics depends on the wider institutional and socio-cultural context. However, this hypothesis has remained largely untested since most empirical studies focus on one country. This study therefore examines whether there are country-specific effects of educational attainment and enrolment on the timing of entering motherhood in two Western European countries. I analyse first birth histories derived from the Panel Study of Belgian Households (PSBH) and the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) using event history analysis. The results indicate that the negative effect of educational attainment is stronger in Britain than in Belgium, whereas the reverse is found for educational enrolment. Furthermore, the transition to motherhood after leaving full-time education is accelerated in Belgium but decelerated in Britain.
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