A recent study published by the Institute for Economic Research Etla has revealed an unexpected result: women with advanced education 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 finding contradicts previous assumptions that education makes it difficult for women to start a family but helps men find a relationship.
The study looked at the effect of education level by comparing 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 assumption was that the groups of those who got in and those who stayed out near the entry border have quite similar characteristics. For men, the effect of education on income was significant, but it didn’t affect their likelihood of having children.
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. The group thinks that education increases the number of women’s children because the jobs of educated people are more flexible according to the needs of the family, making them desirable partners for reproduction. However, in men, the effect was close to zero for one reason or another.
Virtanen speculated that the phenomenon could be explained by the fact that men who have reached university postpone having children. The study also indicated that education might be considered a sign of the ability to be a parent, especially for women. The reasons for these results are still unknown, and the next phase of the project aims to uncover these explanations. While these results cannot be generalized to all educated and uneducated people, they provide valuable insights into the effects of education on family formation.
In conclusion, this study challenges long-held beliefs about how education affects family formation and paves the way for further research in this area. It highlights that while there may be some correlation between higher levels of education and greater opportunities for finding a partner and starting a family, other factors such as individual preferences and circumstances may also play a role in shaping family outcomes.
The implications of these findings are significant, as they suggest that policies aimed at promoting higher levels