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The Effect of Education on Fertility: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform

  • Kamila Cygan-Rehm
  • Miriam Maeder
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    This paper investigates the effect of education on fertility under inflexible labor market conditions. We exploit exogenous variation from a German compulsory schooling reform to deal with the endogeneity of education. By using data from two complementary data sets, we examine different fertility outcomes over the life cycle. In contrast to evidence for other developed countries, we find that increased education causally reduces completed fertility. This negative effect operates through a postponement of first births away from teenage years, and no catch-up later in life. We attribute these findings to the particularly high opportunity costs of child-rearing in Germany.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.414090.de/diw_sp0528.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 528.

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    Length: 47 p.
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp528
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    21. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2010. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling and the Causal Effect of Education on Health: Evidence from Germany," MEA discussion paper series 10200, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    22. Thomas J. Kane & Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-196.
    23. Margherita Fort & Nichole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," Economics working papers 2011-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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