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Women's Education and Fertility: An Analysis of the Relationship between Education and Birth Spacing in Indonesia

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  • Jungho Kim

Abstract

The negative relationship between women's education and fertility is one of the strongest empirical regularities in social science, yet there are few empirical studies that identify the mechanisms through which education affects fertility. This article goes beyond the usual interpretation of education as a proxy for wage by testing whether education affects fertility through demand for children or through availability of contraceptives. Using the Indonesian case, it examines one aspect of fertility, namely, birth spacing, over the period 1970-93. I find that higher levels of female education are associated with a shorter birth interval among earlier cohorts but with a longer birth interval among later cohorts. The key finding is that changes in the effects of education on birth hazard over time are primarily driven by changes in the availability of contraceptives rather than by changes in the demand for children. In the context of contraceptive technology, the result can be interpreted as evidence for the hypothesis that education enhances the ability to decipher new information. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Jungho Kim, 2010. "Women's Education and Fertility: An Analysis of the Relationship between Education and Birth Spacing in Indonesia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(4), pages 739-774, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:58:y:2010:i:4:p:739-774
    DOI: 10.1086/649638
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    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    2. Paul Gertler & John Molyneaux, 1994. "How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce indonesian fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 33-63, February.
    3. Jejeebhoy, Shireen J., 1995. "Women's Education, Autonomy, and Reproductive Behaviour: Experience from Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290339.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caroline Krafft & Maia Sieverding, 2018. "Jordan’s fertility stall and resumed decline: an investigation of demographic factors," Working Papers 1193, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 May 2018.
    2. Gertrude E Elleamoh & Fidelia A A Dake, 2019. "“Cementing” marriages through childbearing in subsequent unions: Insights into fertility differentials among first-time married and remarried women in Ghana," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(10), pages 1-14, October.
    3. Hatton, Timothy J. & Sparrow, Robert & Suryadarma, Daniel & van der Eng, Pierre, 2018. "Fertility and the health of children in Indonesia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 67-78.

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