MPIDR Working Paper

The gendered impacts of delayed parenthood on educational and labor market outcomes: a dynamic analysis of population-level effects over young adulthood

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2019-017, 58 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (September 2019)
Keywords: Finland, education, gender, labor market, longitudinal analysis, parenthood

Abstract

Later parenthood is often beneficial for women, but less is known about its impact on men. As first births continue to occur later in life, it is important to understand whether this delay influences the educational and labor market outcomes of women and men differently, and how it changes the socioeconomic characteristics of children’s parents at birth. However, education, employment, and fertility are linked, implying that complex models are required in order to analyze the time-varying impacts of delayed parenthood. We use dynamic longitudinal models and Finnish data to analyze how, and through which socioeconomic mechanisms, a material delay in parenthood is likely to influence educational and labor market outcomes over young adulthood. A three-year delay in young-adult parenthood for all women increases educational enrollment in their early 20s, employment in their late 20s, and partly due to higher education income in their 30s. The impact of the same delay for men is more modest, and almost negligible for their employment, suggesting that later parenthood exacerbates the educational advantage of women and attenuates the income advantage of men. However, it strengthens the socioeconomic standing of both men and women when they become parents, essentially due to the accumulation of effects.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.