Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gender composition of college graduates by field of study and early fertility. By Alena Bičáková and Štěpán Jurajda in Rev Econ Household

The gender composition of peer groups has been shown to affect marriage market outcomes, but there is no evidence on whether the share of women on college graduates across fields of study affects graduates’ fertility, even though the college field-of-study peer group is a natural source of potential mating partners. We use variation in gender shares by fields of study implied by the recent expansion of college education in 19 European countries, and a difference-in-differences research design, to show that the share of women in study peer groups does not drive early fertility. When there are few available potential partners in one’s field of study, endogamous fertility by college graduates from the same field of study is lower, as expected, but non-endogamous fertility compensates for this effect for both genders. This compensation, however, comes at the cost of increasing the probability of parenting with a less-than-college educated spouse.

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