The effect of education on women's propensity to remain childless in Spain: Does the field of education matter?

Teresa Martin Garcia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

This study investigates the relationship between educational attainment (level and field) and childlessness in Spain. Findings demonstrate that there is a significant difference in childlessness by educational level among women aged 34-50, while this significance disappears when the analysis is not confined to older women but it includes all women in the sample (age 18-50). In this latter case, childlessness has more to do with later childbearing among young women than with the accumulation of human capital. However, women educated in those studies concerned with the care of individuals and/or emphasizing interpersonal skills have a lower probability of remaining childless than women in other fields of study, irrespective of their educational level, in both samples. Moreover, results show that childlessness, departure from education and union formation are jointly determined. I use data from the Family and Fertility Survey and apply event history models that take into account unobserved heterogeneity.

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Presented in Session 39: Childlessness in developed countries