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Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births

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  • SandraE. Black
  • PaulJ. Devereux
  • KjellG. Salvanes

Abstract

This article investigates whether increasing mandatory educational attainment through compulsory schooling legislation encourages women to delay childbearing. We use variation induced by changes in compulsory schooling laws in both the US and Norway to estimate the effect in two very different institutional environments. We find evidence that increased compulsory schooling does in fact reduce the incidence of teenage childbearing in both the US and Norway, and these estimates are quite robust to various specification checks. These results suggest that legislation aimed at improving educational outcomes may have spillover effects onto the fertility decisions of teenagers. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:530:p:1025-1054
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    1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2004. "Fast Times at Ridgemont High? The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Births," IZA Discussion Papers 1416, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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