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The Timing of Births in Britain and the US
£6,987, British Academy This project used dated event-history data on women from the National Child Development Study, a cohort born in Britain in 1958, to investigate the effects of education, the state of the labour market and unobserved factors on fertility behaviour. The time to first birth was strongly and negatively associated with higher levels of education and there was some evidence that, having had one child, more educated women tended to have a second child relatively quickly. Unemployment was not a statistically significant influence on the transition to the first birth but was positively associated with higher-order births. Some previous research has suggested that empirical results in this field are highly sensitive to whether or not unobserved heterogeneity parameters are included in the model. In fact the findings here were that the inclusion of heterogeneity terms improved the fit of the models but did not result in any major qualitative changes to results.
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