Inequality and the Route to Parenthood in the UK
Susan Harkness, ISER, Essex University
Data comes from two British birth cohort studies; the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) and the 1970 Birth Cohort Study (BCS). Children born in 1958 and 1970 entered adulthood under very different social and economic circumstances; in particular, there was a sharp rise in inequality and rapidly changing social norms over this period. Using competing duration models, we investigate changes in the timing and circumstances of the transition of parenthood. We look at four possible outcomes, and their timing, up the age of 42: that a first birth occurs outside a cohabiting union; within a cohabiting union; within a marital union; or that no birth occurs. We look at how socio-economic circumstances influence the timing and family circumstances of women at the birth of a first child. We link these outcomes to background characteristics observed during childhood (including family background, parental socio-economic status and the socio-economic characteristics of neighbourhoods), and to male and female employment and earnings opportunities assessed at different points of the earnings distribution.
Presented in Session 61: Transition to Parenthood