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Does women's education affect fertility? Evidence from pre-demographic transition Prussia

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  • Sascha O. Becker
  • Francesco Cinnirella
  • Ludger Woessmann

Abstract

While women's employment opportunities, relative wages, and the child quantity-quality trade-off have been studied as factors underlying historical fertility limitation, the role of women's education has received little attention. We combine Prussian county data from three censuses—1816, 1849, and 1867—to estimate the relationship between women's education and their fertility before the demographic transition. Despite controlling for several demand and supply factors, we find a negative residual effect of women's education on fertility. Instrumental-variable estimates using educational variation deriving from landownership concentration, as well as panel estimates controlling for fixed effects of counties, suggest that the effect of women's education on fertility is causal. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

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  • Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2013. "Does women's education affect fertility? Evidence from pre-demographic transition Prussia," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 24-44, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ereveh:v:17:y:2013:i:1:p:24-44
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    Cited by:

    1. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
    2. Claude Diebolt & Tapas Mishra & Faustine Perrin, 2015. "Did Gender-Bias Matter in the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in the 19th Century France?," Working Papers 04-15, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    3. Casper Worm Hansen & Peter Sandholt Jensen & Lars Lønstrup, 2014. "The Fertility Transition in the US: Schooling or Income?," Economics Working Papers 2014-02, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Primary Education and Fertility Rates in Southern Africa: Evidence from Before the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 432, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    5. Deininger, Klaus & Xia, Fang & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari K., 2014. "Inheritance law reform, empowerment, and human capital accumulation : second-generation effects from India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7086, The World Bank.
    6. Manoel Bittencourt, 2014. "Education and Fertility: Panel Time-Series Evidence from Southern Africa," Working Papers 431, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1382-6 is not listed on IDEAS

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