Who, What, Where, and When? Specifying the Impact of Educational Attainment and Labour Force Participation on Family Formation

Purchase on Springer.com

$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This article studies the impact of educational attainment and labour force participation on the timing of entering a union, marriage, and parenthood, using data from Flemish and Dutch young adults born between 1961 and 1965. This impact is hypothesized to be contingent on sex, the event under consideration, the societal context in which family formation occurs, and the age of young adults. As expected, educational attainment has a stronger negative effect on women's entry into parenthood than on their entry into a union, a stronger negative effect on women's entry into marriage and parenthood in the Netherlands than in Flanders, and a stronger effect during the early stages of young adulthood than later on. Men's educational attainment did not show the expected positive effect on family formation. Enrollment in full-time education delays family formation, but more so in Flanders than in the Netherlands. Unemployment delays family formation among men, but only in Flanders.