Education, assortative mating and the duration to couple formation and first birth in Britain and Sweden

Publication type

Conference Paper


BHPS-2005 Conference: the 2005 British Household Panel Survey Research Conference, 30 June -2 July 2005, Colchester, UK


Publication date

June 1, 2005


The paper focuses on duration until couple formation and first birth. We analyse
couples born 1930-1979, who have experienced both events. In a first step, which
represents the mating function, we estimate a spouse choice equation based on
individual human capital and family of origin characteristics as well as marriage
market indicators, using a multinomial logit model. We create nine educational
categories using predicted probabilities. In a second step, we estimate the rates of
union formation and first birth using Weibull hazard models with individual
unobserved heterogeneity, predicted educational categories from the first step and
other fixed and time varying variables as explanatory variables. Higher education of
one of the spouses, the duration in education and unfavorable labor market conditions
delay couple formation and first birth. Swedish women form their union later but once
the union has been formed, they are quicker to have their first birth.






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