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

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  • Margherita Fort
  • Nichole Schneeweis
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2011-05.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2011_05

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Keywords: Instrumental Variables; Education; Fertility;

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  1. Monstad, Karin & Propper, Carol & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2008. "Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
  3. Garrouste, Christelle, 2010. "100 years of educational reforms in Europe: a contextual database," MPRA Paper 31853, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling, Education and the Distribution of Wages in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 516-539, 03.
  5. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Fabbri & Margherita Fort, 2010. "Years of Schooling, Human Capital and the Body Mass Index of European Females," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 262, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. 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.
  7. Hartog,Joop & Maassen van den Brink,Henriëtte (ed.), 2009. "Human Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521117562, December.
  8. Osili, Una Okonkwo & Long, Bridget Terry, 2008. "Does female schooling reduce fertility? Evidence from Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 57-75, August.
  9. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  10. Lars Lefgren & Frank McIntyre, 2006. "The Relationship between Women's Education and Marriage Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 787-830, October.
  11. SandraE. Black & PaulJ. Devereux & KjellG. Salvanes, 2008. "Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1025-1054, 07.
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