Navigation – Plan du site

Continuing Education: A Family Matter?

Vincent Lignon
Traduction de Patrick Hamm
p. 127-158


Is there a statistical relationship between changes in family status and access to continuing education? This article attempts to answer this question based on an empirical analysis of Emploi en continu (Continuous Employment) surveys conducted in France from 2003 to 2012. While the results show that for women childbirth is associated with a decrease in the likelihood of continuing education, they also suggest that children’s entry into the school system provides an opportunity for better educated people to participate more in company training. The formation and break-up of couples are also associated with gender inequalities in access to education: the break-up of a couple is negatively correlated with the probability of attending company training, especially for women who have custody of their children. For education offered by an employment agency, mostly aimed at the unemployed, it seems that what matters most is less the distribution of child custody than the employment status of the partners at the time of the break-up.

Haut de page

Notes de la rédaction

Article published in French in Travail et Emploi, no 143, juillet-septembre 2015.

Extrait du texte


Texte intégral disponible via abonnement/accès payant sur le portail Cairn. Le texte intégral en libre accès sera disponible à cette adresse en janvier 2021.
Consulter cet article


To What Extent can Family Events Influence Access to Continuing Education?
Family Status and Access to Continuing Education
Why Focus on Family Events? Theoretical Framework for an Approach Based on the Life Course
Potential Impact of Family Events
Source and Method
Use of the Emploi en continu Surveys from 2003 to 2012
Method of Analysis
Change in Conjugal Situation and Access to Education
Change in Parental Situation and Access to Education
Can the Results of the Estimates Be Interpreted in Terms of Causality?

Aperçu du texte

In public discourse, continuing education is a major tool used by employment policy to cope with rising unemployment and to help make people’s career paths more secure (Cerc, 2006; Seillier, 2007). The French system has been reformed several times since the early 2000s, with each reform intended to strengthen the “individualisation” of the right to continuing education and to help make individuals actors who are responsible for their own lifelong learning (Dubar, 2008). This notion of the empowerment of individuals (Gautié, Perez, 2010) can be seen particularly in the Act of 4 May 2004, which introduced the individual right to education (droit individuel à la formation – DIF) and, more recently, in the Act of 5 March 2014, which established the personal education account (compte personnel de formation – CPF).

Studies that seek to identify the determinants of access to education are therefore more relevant than ever. To the extent that mechanisms intended to empower people are truly e...

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Vincent Lignon, « Continuing Education: A Family Matter? », Travail et Emploi, Hors-série | 2017, 127-158.

Référence électronique

Vincent Lignon, « Continuing Education: A Family Matter? », Travail et Emploi [En ligne], Hors-série | 2017, mis en ligne le 15 janvier 2018, consulté le 21 novembre 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/travailemploi.7649

Haut de page


Vincent Lignon

At the time Vincent Lignon wrote this article, he was a PhD student at the Centre d’économie at the Sorbonne (CES, University of Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne) and at the Institut national d’études démographiques (French Institute for Demographic Studies – INED). He was also associated with the Edhec Business School. He is now an economist at the Caisse nationale des allocations familiales (CNAF, France’s child benefit fund) and is associated with the CES;

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

© La documentation française

Haut de page
  • OpenEdition Journals