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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 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
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  1. Margherita Fort & Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," CHILD Working Papers wp15_11, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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, 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2006. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0061, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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. 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.
  15. Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children," Economics Series 281, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  16. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Ethan G. Lewis, 2006. "Schooling and the Armed Forces Qualifying Test: Evidence from School-Entry Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
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