A recent study by the Institute for Economic Research Etla has shed light on an unexpected result: highly educated women are more likely to find a spouse and have children by the age of 37, while men’s level of education does not promote family formation. This study challenges previous assumptions that education makes it difficult for women to start a family but helps men find a relationship.
The study compared the register data of individuals born between 1979-1985 who pursued secondary education or university of applied sciences. Those who barely exceeded or barely fell below the admission limits were included in the study. The results showed that access to secondary education increased the number of children for women by 5%, and access to a university of applied sciences by a further 5%, compared to those who were left out. However, for men, the effect was close to zero.
The researchers speculated that the phenomenon could be explained by the fact that highly educated women are more desirable partners for reproduction because their jobs are more flexible according to family needs. On the other hand, men who have reached university may postpone having children due to various reasons. The study also indicated that education might be considered a sign of parenting ability, especially for women.
While these results cannot be generalized to all educated and uneducated people, they provide valuable insights into how education affects family formation. Further research is needed to uncover the explanations behind these results, but this study has opened up new avenues for understanding this complex issue.
Overall, this study challenges traditional beliefs about how education affects family formation and highlights the need for further research in this area. It suggests that there is no clear explanation for why highly educated women are more likely to find a spouse and have children while men’s level of education does not promote family formation.