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Do More-Schooled Women have Fewer Children and Delay Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of U.S. Twins

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Author Info

  • Vikesh Amin

    ()
    (SUNY Binghamton)

  • Jere R. Behrman

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Using data on MZ (monozygotic, identical) female twins from the Minnesota Twin Registry, we estimate the causal effect of schooling on completed fertility, probability of being childless and age at first birth, using the within-MZ twins methodology. We find strong cross-sectional associations between schooling and the fertility outcomes and some evidence that more schooling causes women to have fewer children and delay childbearing, though not to the extent that interpreting cross-sectional associations as causal would imply. Our conclusions are robust when taking account of (1) endogenous within-twin pair schooling differences due to reverse causality and (2) measurement error in schooling. We also investigate possible mechanisms and find that the effect of women’s schooling on completed fertility is not mediated through husband’s schooling but rather through age at first marriage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 11-041.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 05 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:11-041

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Keywords: twins; twins fixed-effects; schooling; fertility;

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References

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  1. Kate L. Antonovics & Arthur S. Goldberger, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1738-1744, December.
  2. Karin Monstad & Carol Propper & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2008. "Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 827-852, December.
  3. Sandra E Black & Paul J Devereux & Kjell G Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439, 02.
  4. Una Okonkwo Osili & Bridget Terry Long, 2007. "Does Female Schooling Reduce Fertility? Evidence from Nigeria," NBER Working Papers 13070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Margherita Fort & Nichole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," Economics working papers 2011-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  6. Heather Royer, 2009. "Separated at Girth: US Twin Estimates of the Effects of Birth Weight," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 49-85, January.
  7. Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children," Economics Series 281, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  8. Jere Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler & Vibeke Jensen & Dorthe Pedersen & Inge Petersen & Paul Bingley & Kaare Christensen, 2011. "Does More Schooling Reduce Hospitalization and Delay Mortality? New Evidence Based on Danish Twins," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1347-1375, November.
  9. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
  10. Petter Lundborg, 2013. "The health returns to schooling—what can we learn from twins?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 673-701, April.
  11. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-95, February.
  12. Lundborg, Petter & Nilsson, Anton & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Does Early Life Health Predict Schooling Within Twin Pairs?," IZA Discussion Papers 5803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Sandewall, Örjan & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus, 2009. "The Co-twin Methodology and Returns to Schooling – Testing a Critical Assumption," Working Paper Series 806, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 2005. "Birth weight and schooling and earnings: estimates from a sample of twins," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 387-392, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Kirdar, Murat & Dayioglu, Meltem & Koc, Ismet, 2012. "The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," MPRA Paper 38735, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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