• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Surprising Study Reveals Unexpected Effects of Education on Family Formation and Children’s Income


Feb 12, 2024
Increasing education levels did not lead to an increase in the number of male children

A recent study by the Institute for Economic Research Etla has revealed an unexpected result: women with advanced education are more likely to find a spouse and have children by the age of 37. However, this is not the case for men, whose level of education does not promote family formation. The study was conducted to investigate the effect of education on children’s income and was led by research manager and author Hanna Virtanen.

The results differ significantly from what was previously assumed, as it was believed that education made it difficult for women to start a family but helped men find a relationship. Today, both highly educated women and men have a spouse and children more frequently than those with secondary education, who in turn have a family more often than those with only primary school education. However, there is still very little research on the cause and effect relationships in this area.

The study looked at the effect of education level by comparing the register data of individuals born between 1979-1985 who pursued secondary education or university of applied sciences. Those who barely exceeded or barely fell below the admission limits were included in the study. The assumption was that the groups of those who got in and those who stayed out near the entry border have quite similar characteristics. For men, the effect of education on income was significant, but it didn’t affect their likelihood of having children.

Access to secondary education increased the number of children for women by 5%, and access to a university of applied sciences by a further 5%, compared to those who were left out. The group thinks that education increases the number of women’s children because the jobs of educated people are more flexible according to the needs of the family, making them desirable partners for reproduction. However, in men, the effect was close to zero for one reason or another.

Virtanen speculated that the phenomenon could be explained by

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