(Withdrawn) Education, employment and childlessness: the relationship between employment, educational field, educational level and childlessness among Greek women born in 1955-1959

Christos Bagavos, Panteion University, Greece

The relationship between educational attainment, educational field and fertility has been investigated for a certain number of countries, notably Sweden, Austria and Norway. In this paper we extent the analysis by presenting the case of Greece and emphasising the combined role of both educational field and occupation for the observed fertility diversities among women. Our empirical investigation is based on census data (2001) pertaining to childbearing, educational and employment histories of an entire cohort of women born in Greece in 1955-1959 (about 350,000 individuals). Data on educational field are available for about 60,000 women, i.e. 17% of the entire cohort. We work with a relatively high number of educational field-and-level combinations (some fifty in all) as well as with several employment categories. Permanent childlessness is examined as the main fertility indicator. The analysis indicates that, in some cases, the field of education serves better as an indicator of a woman’s potential reproductive behaviour than the educational level attained. In general, the results show some similarities with those already obtained for other countries. In particular, women educated in teaching and health care have lower permanent childlessness at each educational level than in any other major grouping. Women educated in arts and in theology have unusually high fractions of permanently childless. Our results confirm the assumption raised by other studies, that higher education does not systematically result in higher childlessness. Among the several factors related to an educational system, which may influence the relationship between education and childlessness, we emphasise the way in which education is related to the labour market and mainly the distinction between employment opportunities in public and private sector for highly educated women. Ιn several cases, women’s profession tends to modify the effect of educational field and level on ultimate childlessness.

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Presented in Session 13: Occupational characteristics and fertility