Who delays childbearing? The relationship between fertility, education and personality traits

Lara Tavares, Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics, Bocconi University

Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, this paper assesses the role of personality traits on timing of motherhood and investigates whether, and in what way, personality traits can explain the differences in maternity timing between more and less educated women. The estimates of a Log-logistic model of the time to first child birth show that there is a statistically significant relationship between the Big Five personality traits and timing to motherhood. The results also show that even though there is some self-selection into education in terms Openness, the fertility timing gap seems to be mainly driven by high educated women who are particularly "open-minded".

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children