Family Formation and Retreat from the Labour Market: An Analysis of Socio-Economic Differentials in Belgium

David De Wachter, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Karel Neels, University of Antwerp

The reconstruction of cohort profiles of order-specific fertility in Belgium revealed that there are persistent educational differentials. Higher educated women are more often childless than lower educated women. At the same time higher educated women more frequently have a second and third child than lower educated women. In this paper we explore educational differentials in labour market attachment and its impact on first, second and third births among Belgian women and their partners. The results of the discrete-time event history analyses suggest that there are meaningful educational differentials in the impact of activity status on childbearing behaviour. Furthermore, the effect of female activity status remains significant after control for male labour force participation. The most important findings however are the strong educational differentials in labour market attachment. Higher educated women remain strongly attached to the labour market, even after the birth of a second or third child.

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Presented in Poster Session 4