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Does Parental Education Affect Fertility? Evidence from Pre-Demographic Transition Prussia

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  • Becker, Sascha O.
  • Cinnirella, Francesco
  • Woessmann, Ludger

Abstract

While women's employment opportunities, relative wages, and the child quantity-quality trade-off have been studied as factors underlying historical fertility limitation, the role of parental education has received little attention. We combine Prussian county data from three censuses--1816, 1849, and 1867--to estimate the relationship between women’s education and their fertility before the demographic transition. Despite controlling for several demand and supply factors, we find a negative residual effect of women’s education on fertility. Instrumental-variable estimates, using exogenous variation in women's education driven by differences in landownership inequality, suggest that the effect of women’s education on fertility is causal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8339.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8339

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Keywords: Demographic Transition; Female Education; Fertility; Nineteenth Century Prussia;

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References

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  1. Oded Galor, 2005. "The Demographic Transition and the Emergence of Sustained Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 494-504, 04/05.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," IZA Discussion Papers 5735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2005. "Land Inequality and the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions," Development and Comp Systems 0502018, EconWPA.
  4. Guinnane, Timothy W., 2010. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Working Papers 84, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  5. Ricardo Andrés Guzmán & Jacob Weisdorf, 2009. "Product Variety and the Demographic Transition," Discussion Papers 09-25, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Leibenstein, Harvey, 1975. "The Economic Theory of Fertility Decline," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-31, February.
  7. Victor Lavy & Alexander Zablotsky, 2011. "Mother’s Schooling and Fertility under Low Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 16856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  9. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  10. John C. Brown & Timothy W. Guinnane, 2007. "Regions and time in the European fertility transition: problems in the Princeton Project's statistical methodology -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(3), pages 574-595, 08.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "Does women's education affect fertility? Evidence from pre-demographic transition Prussia," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 24-44, February.
  2. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "The effect of investment in children’s education on fertility in 1816 Prussia," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 29-44, January.
  3. repec:cge:warwcg:95 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Ludger Wößmann, 2011. "Die Bedeutung von Bildung für die Wirtschaftsentwicklung: Eine neue wirtschaftshistorische Forschungsagenda anhand preußischer Kreisdaten, Teil 2," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 64(01), pages 41-47, 01.
  5. Ken-ichi Hashimoto & Ken Tabata, 2013. "Rising Longevity, Human Capital and Fertility in Overlapping Generations Version of an R&D-based Growth Model," Discussion Paper Series 104, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2013.

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