Educational enrolment, double status positions and the transition to motherhood. Evidence from the Generations and Gender Survey

Tamás Bartus, Corvinus University of Budapest
Zsolt Speder, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

Participation in education may be combined with employment, resulting in double status positions. The presence of double status positions in several European countries calls for the reassessment of the widely shared notion that participation in education is incompatible with motherhood. Relying on normative and economic approaches, we develop original and competing hypotheses about the fertility implications of double status positions. The hypotheses are tested using event-history data from the second wave of the Generations and Gender Survey. For our empirical work, we select four countries: Austria, France, Georgia and Hungary. Our preliminary findings are as follows. (1) First birth rates are significantly larger among women who are employed (but not enrolled) than among those who study and work at the same time. (2) Compared to double status positions, participation in education has a negative effect on the transition to motherhood in France and in Hungary, but we do not find a significant enrolment effect in Austria and Georgia. (3) With the exception of Austria, there is no evidence that first birth rates would be the lowest in double status positions. Our findings suggest that the conflict between participation in education and motherhood is mitigated in double status positions, but that mitigating effect is absent if double status positions emerge in the context of a dual education system.

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Presented in Session 40: Education and fertility 1