The Education and Economic Situation of Cohabiting and Married Fathers Before and After the Great Recession in Europe

Anna Garriga, University Pompeu Fabra and University Abat Oliba CEU Barcelona
Brienna Perelli-Harris , University of Southampton

Prior studies have found a negative educational gradient of childbearing in cohabitation in most countries. However, it is unclear whether education is a proxy for socio-economic status or directly reflects labor market position, especially for fathers. Here we use 2016 EU-SILC data in 21 European countries to study the association between partnership type and different dimensions of employment: full or part-time employment, temporary or permanent contracts, and occupational status. Results from 2016 indicate that cohabiting fathers have lower education and lower occupational status, and are less likely to have full-time, permanent employment than married fathers. However, regional patterns suggest that the associations are shaped by policy and economic conditions. Finally, using data from 2005, we find that the association between labor market uncertainty and unmarried fatherhood has not changed over time. Taken as a whole, the study provides further evidence for the “Pattern of Disadvantage.”

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 Presented in Session 45. Cohabitation and Nonmarital Relationships