Heterogeneous Effects of College on Family Formation Patterns among Women

Jennie E. Brand, University of California, Los Angeles
Dwight Davis, University of California, Los Angeles

Despite substantial literature on the effects of education on family formation patterns among women, few studies evaluate potential heterogeneity in effects. Women’s increasing educational attainment motivates renewed, careful attention to the impact of education on family formation patterns, particularly among college-educated women who have a low likelihood of college completion. Such women at the margin of college completion are those for whom the expansion of higher education exerts its greatest impact. We expect that women with the lowest probability of completing college experience the largest impact of college upon family formation patterns. Using panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979, we adopt an innovative methodological approach to study the heterogeneous effects of college on family outcomes. We estimate propensity score stratum-specific event history models to uncover effects of college education and examine patterns of effects across strata using a hierarchical linear model.

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Presented in Session 178: Comparative Perspectives on Union Formation