Educational gradient in transition to second birth in Europe: differences related to societal context

Allan Puur, Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre
Martin Klesment, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Leen Rahnu, Tallinn University
Luule Sakkeus, Tallinn University

We study the role of contextual factors that may influence how educational attainment of women shapes the transition to second birth. There are noticeable differences between European countries in second birth rates. A number of studies have shown that the effect of women’s education varies from negative to positive across countries. However, it is often impossible to tell whether the observed educational gradient in second birth rates is related to some specific contextual factors that are characteristic to a country. We use EU-SILC survey data covering 31 European countries to estimate event history models of second birth. The aim is to investigate associations between educational gradient of second childbearing and contextual variables pertaining to work-family reconciliation, gender equality, and macro-economic conditions. We find that macro-economic conditions have mostly an effect on less educated women’s transition to second birth. Work-family reconciliation seems to affect to a greater extent highly educated women.

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Presented in Session 67: Education and fertility 2