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Women's schooling, fertility, and child health outcomes: Evidence from Uganda's free primary education program

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  • Keats, Anthony

Abstract

This paper examines the role of women's education on both fertility and child health in Uganda. To identify causal effects, I exploit the timing of a national reform that eliminated primary school fees in 1997 to implement a regression discontinuity design. At the cutoff, the reform increased educational attainment by nearly one year on average, with impacts across all grade levels through the end of secondary school. Women with more schooling both delay and reduce overall fertility, increase early child health investments, and have less chronically malnourished children. In terms of mechanisms, women with additional schooling do not abstain more from sex as adolescents, but they are more likely to have used contraceptives before a first pregnancy and they delay marriage. Other downstream effects include improved employment outcomes and greater wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Keats, Anthony, 2018. "Women's schooling, fertility, and child health outcomes: Evidence from Uganda's free primary education program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 142-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:142-159
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicholas Ingwersen & Harounan Kazianga & Leigh L. Linden & Arif Mamun & Ali Protik & Matthew Sloan, 2019. "The Long-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," NBER Working Papers 25994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. André, Pierre & Dupraz, Yannick, 2019. "Education and Polygamy: Evidence from Cameroon," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 435, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Teresa Molina & Ivan Rivadeneyra, 2019. "The Labor Market Effects of Eliminating University Tuition in Ecuador," Working Papers 201901, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Masuda, Kazuya, 2019. "Length of maternal schooling and child’s risk of malaria infection in Uganda: evidence from a natural experiment," CEI Working Paper Series 2018-22, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Fertility; Child health;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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