Women’s and men’s partnership formation in Europe: the effect of field of education

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

Using data from the GGS, this study explores the effect of education on first union formation –first union entry and union type– for women and men born since the 1960s in Norway, Austria, Belgium and Poland. Educational attainment is known to influence differently the union patterns of men and women. These differences in partnership formation have been traditionally explained using the economic interpretation of education. We suggest that looking at fields of study may yield additional insights and offer a more complete picture for understanding union entry patterns. The findings suggest that the field of study reflects unobserved value orientations but also different degrees of opportunities in the labour market. The inclusion of this covariate contributes thus to nuancing and expanding our understanding of how education influences family formation.

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Presented in Session 8: Assortative mating