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Who delays childbearing? The relationships between fertility, education and personality traits

Number: 9
Year: 2008
Author(s): Lara Tavares
Keywords: childbearing postponement,time to first childbirth,personality traits,Big Five
Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, this paper assesses the influence of personality traits on timing of motherhood and investigates whether, and in what way, personality traits can explain the differences in maternity timing between more and less educated women. We estimate a log-logistic model of the time to first child birth and show that there is a statistically significant relationship between the Big Five personality traits and timing to motherhood. The results also show that within the more educated group, women who have an average to high score on Openness have lower hazards of childbirth.

Lara Tavares

Universita Bocconi, Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Ciencias Sociais e Politicas

(revised version of paper originally published October 2008)


Keywords: childbearing postponement, time to first childbirth, personality traits, Big Five


Download: The paper may be downloaded here.