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Do more-schooled women have fewer children and delay childbearing? Evidence from a sample of US twins

  • Vikesh Amin

    ()

  • Jere Behrman

    ()

Using data on monozygotic (MZ) (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 may be mediated in part through age at first marriage. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-013-0470-z
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Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:1:p:1-31
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0470-z
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  1. Monstad, Karin & Propper, Carol & Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar, 2008. "Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers in Economics 05/08, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  2. 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).
  3. Petter Lundborg, 2013. "The health returns to schooling—what can we learn from twins?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 673-701, April.
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  5. Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 6015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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  10. 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;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1347-1375, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children," Economics Series 281, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  13. 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.
  14. Sandewall, Örjan & Cesarini, David & Johannesson, Magnus, 2014. "The co-twin methodology and returns to schooling — testing a critical assumption," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 1-10.
  15. 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.
  16. 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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