OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Literacy skills and family configurations

We study the links between family configuration and formation on the one hand and adult literacy skills on the other by analysing data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a survey of 250 000 people aged 16 to 65 conducted by the OECD in 33 countries and economies.

Literacy proficiency has an effect on many aspects of the formation and development of families, such as age of parents at birth of first child, or age of partners at cohabitation, even when educational attainment and age are taken into account.

Moreover, having children and living with a partner have consequences for adults’ job opportunities and participation in the labour market, which can be particularly negative for the women with the highest literacy proficiency.

English Also available in: French

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