Discerning the effects of employment and education on the fertility decisions of Greek women born in the period 1950-59: an analysis based on census individual-level data

Georgia Verropoulou, University of Piraeus
Christos Bagavos, Panteion University, Greece

The paper uses individual-level data from the 2001 census of Greece on the native women born in the period 1950-59 to discern the effects of female employment and educational attainment on the propensity to have at least one, at least two or at least three children. In addition, whether effects differentiate for different cohorts of women is examined. The analysis is based on logistic regression models. The dependent variable is constructed using the available information on the numbers of children ever born. The estimated odds ratios indicate that educational level and employment status of the mother have an independent effect on the chances of a woman to have one or more children but effects differentiate according to parity. Housewife status is associated with substantially higher chances of proceeding from childlessness to a first birth compared to employed women but its importance is very much reduced when progression form first to second and from second to third birth are considered. More years in education have an adverse effect on the chances of a woman having at least one child, at least two or at least three children. The impact seems greater for higher parities but had age of mother at first birth been controlled for that effect would be much reduced. Hence, postponement of fertility among better educated women and, in particular, among those with tertiary educational qualifications also results in a reduction in family size.

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Presented in Poster Session 1