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The impact of education on the transition to parenthood in Belgium and the United Kingdom

Dieter H. Demey, University of Cambridge

This paper studies the relation between multiple dimensions of education and the transition to parenthood. Previous empirical research has predominantly focused on the effect of female educational attainment on the timing of first births. A positive effect has been reported: higher educated women postpone the entry into parenthood. However, this effect disappears or reverses its sign once the effects of educational enrolment or time elapsed since leaving education are taken into account. The principal aim of this study is to build upon current knowledge and develop new insights on the complex relation between education and the transition to parenthood. The original contribution of my study is to simultaneously consider the influence of educational level, educational enrolment, and time elapsed since leaving education on the transition to parenthood. Empirical results are compared for Belgium and the United Kingdom, using the Panel Study of Belgian Households and the British Household Panel Survey.

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Presented in Session 28: Timing of childbearing