Education and childlessness: the relationship between educational field, educational level, employment and childlessness among Greek women born in 1955-1959
Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 2010, vol. 8, issue 1, 51-75
In this article we expand the analysis of the relationship between educational attainment, educational field and fertility by presenting the case of Greece. The importance is emphasised of both educational field and occupation, as well as their role in the diversity of fertility observed among women. Our empirical investigation is based on census data (2001) pertaining to childbearing, educational and employment histories of an entire cohort of Greek women born in the country in 1955-1959. 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 any educational level than any other major grouping. Our results confirm the findings of other studies that higher education does not systematically result in higher childlessness. Among the various factors related to an educational system, which may influence the relationship between education and childlessness, we emphasise the association of education with the labour market and mainly the distinction between employment opportunities in the public and in the private sector for highly educated women. We find that, in several cases, a woman’s profession tends to modify the pattern of childlessness by educational field.
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