Seminar: The educational gradient and the role of income in demographic decision-making among couples
On Tuesday September 10th 2019, Ruben van Gaalen (CBS/UvA) will give a presentation titled: "The educational gradient and the role of income in demographic decision-making among couples"
In this study, we examine to what extent there is an educational gradient and the role of income in the occurrence and the timing of family events like marriage, childbearing and union dissolution in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 21st century. From the System of Social statistical Datasets (SSD) hosted by Statistics Netherlands, we retrieved information on all childless partners that started living together in 2000 and we follow them until 2015. Results show that middle and higher educated wait with big demographic decisions until sufficient economic resources are available, whereas lower educated couples seem to enter parenthood independently from economic means. Related to this, we show that especially lower income families with lower educated parents are extra vulnerable regarding union stability. If lower educated have sufficient income, the educational gradient regarding union dissolution becomes smaller, although this gradient widens again at the top of the income distribution. These results point at striking differences between higher and lower educated regarding the negative consequences of the rise of cohabitation for relationship and family stability in general.