Education and the Transition to Fatherhood in Europe: The Role of Selection into Unions
Alessandra Trimarchi, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Sapienza Università di Roma
This paper examines the effect of education on the transition to fatherhood, focusing on the interplay with the process of union formation. Earlier studies have typically selected men who are currently living in a union, disregarding the process of how men are selected into unions. We hypothesize that men’s educational attainment consistently and positively affects the transition to fatherhood via the process of selection into unions. We apply multiprocess event history analysis to the Generations and Gender Surveys for 10 European countries. Overall, our results show a consistent positive effect of education on the transition to fatherhood. Once the positive effect of education on entry into union is accounted for, the remaining effect of education on transition to fatherhood loses its predictive power. We conclude that men’s education matters for their transition to fatherhood chiefly by affecting their rates of union formation.