Schooling, gender, and marriage in Guatemala

Erica Soler-Hampejsek, University of Pennsylvania


The three essays in this dissertation examine issues related to the demographic processes of schooling and marriage using longitudinal data from Guatemala. The first paper investigates the effect of age at entry into primary school on schooling outcomes. Delayed entry is a common problem in Guatemala that is believed to be caused by lack of readiness to start school and by economic constraints faced by families. Results indicate that delayed age at entry is strongly associated with lower schooling attainment and higher probability of repeating grades, even when controlling for socioeconomic background and early childhood malnutrition. The second paper analyzes the effect of school attendance and grade achieved to age on the age at first marriage (or consensual union). Descriptive data show that important gender differences in school attendance emerge during the early teen years: girls' dropout rates peak at a younger age than boys'. Results from the survival analysis models indicate that both school attendance and schooling attainment are associated with a lower risk of transitioning to marriage at a young age, and that this association is much stronger for females than for males. The third paper explores the determinants of the two types of marital unions that coexist in Guatemala: consensual unions and legal marriages. Results show that women from wealthier families and men with higher levels of education and with jobs that provide social security are less likely to be in a consensual union. Individuals who profess an evangelical religion are notably less likely to be in a consensual union. Second or higher order unions are more likely to be consensual than first order unions.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Soler-Hampejsek, Erica, "Schooling, gender, and marriage in Guatemala" (2008). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3328653.