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More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe

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  • Fort, Margherita
  • Schneeweis, Nicole
  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

Abstract

We study the relationship between education and fertility, exploiting compulsory schooling reforms in Europe as source of exogenous variation in education. Using data from 8 European countries, we assess the causal effect of education on the number of biological kids and the incidence of childlessness. We find that more education causes a substantial decrease in childlessness and an increase in the average number of children per woman. Our findings are robust to a number of falsification checks and we can provide complementary empirical evidence on the mechanisms leading to these surprising results.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8609.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8609

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Keywords: education; fertility; instrumental variables;

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