Volume 28 - Article 1 | Pages 1–32  

The effect of education on second births in Hungary: A test of the time-squeeze, self-selection and partner-effect hypotheses

By Tamás Bartus, Lívia Murinkó, Ivett Szalma, Bernadett Szél


Background: In recent years, several studies have reported a positive effect of women’s education on the transition to second births. This finding contradicts the economic theory of fertility. Three explanations were proposed: the selection, the time-squeeze, and the partner effect hypotheses.

Objective: We propose a modification of the economic theory to account for the positive educational gradient with regard to second births. We empirically examine the effect of women’s education on the timing of second births.

Methods: We use a sample of women born between 1946 and 1983 from all three waves of the Hungarian Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) data. We estimate lognormal survival models of the timing of second births.

Results: We find that female education reduces the waiting time to second conception in Hungary. The results remain robust after controlling for sample selection and cannot be explained away in terms of time-squeeze and the partner’s education.

Conclusions: We conclude that the relationship between women’s education and spacing behavior might be a causal one.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Housing consequences of divorce and separation in a 'super home ownership' regime: The case of Hungary
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