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Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Policy Change in Kenya

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  • Chicoine, Luke E.

    ()
    (DePaul University)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the relationship between women's education and fertility by exploiting a 1985 policy change in Kenya that lengthened primary school by one year. An instrumental variables approach measures the exogenous variation in treatment intensity across birth cohorts. The reform led to an increase in education, a delay in marriage, and reduced fertility beginning at the age of 20. The effect on fertility becomes increasingly negative through age 25. The findings suggest that postponement of marriage, reduction in the marital education gap, and increased early use of modern contraceptives contribute to reduced fertility. These results are consistent with women having greater control over their fertility decision.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6778.

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    Length: 63 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6778

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    Keywords: fertility; education; Kenya;

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    1. 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.
    2. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
    3. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chong, Alberto & Duryea, Suzanne & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2008. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6785, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Osili, Una Okonkwo & Long, Bridget Terry, 2008. "Does female schooling reduce fertility? Evidence from Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 57-75, August.
    6. Mercy Tembon & Lucia Fort, 2008. "Girls' Education in the 21st Century : Gender Equality, Empowerment, and Economic Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6554, August.
    7. Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 217, OECD Publishing.
    8. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.
    9. Nancy Qian, 2010. "Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy: The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China," Working Papers id:2558, eSocialSciences.
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