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Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia

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  • Miron Tequame
  • Nyasha Tirivayi

    (University of Maastricht)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of womens higher education on fertility outcomes in Ethiopia. We exploit an abrupt increase in the supply of tertiary education induced by a liberalisation policy. Using an age discontinuity in the exposure to higher education reform, we find that education lowers fertility by 8 and increases the likelihood of never giving birth by 25. We explore the role of potential underlying mechanisms and find that this negative effect on fertility is channelled through positive assortative mating and the postponement of marriage and motherhood.

Suggested Citation

  • Miron Tequame & Nyasha Tirivayi, 2015. "Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia," CINCH Working Paper Series 1509, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:duh:wpaper:1509
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    Cited by:

    1. Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Westphal, Matthias, 2017. "Fertility effects of college education: Evidence from the German educational expansion," Ruhr Economic Papers 717, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Chen, Jiwei & Guo, Jiangying, 2022. "The effect of female education on fertility: Evidence from China’s compulsory schooling reform," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    3. Stephanie Psaki & Nicole Haberland & Barbara Mensch & Lauren Woyczynski & Erica Chuang, 2022. "Policies and interventions to remove gender‐related barriers to girls' school participation and learning in low‐ and middle‐income countries: A systematic review of the evidence," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 18(1), March.
    4. Daniel Kamhoefer & Matthias Westphal, 2017. "Fertility Effects of College Education: Evidence from the German Educational Expansion," CINCH Working Paper Series 1705, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    5. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 661, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Fatima Zahra & Nicole Haberland & Stephanie Psaki, 2022. "PROTOCOL: Causal mechanisms linking education with fertility, HIV, and child mortality: A systematic review," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 18(2), June.
    7. Deole, Sumit S. & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2021. "Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets," GLO Discussion Paper Series 793, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Prodromidis, Nikolaos, 2021. "Long‐term Effects of Hospital Deliveries," CINCH Working Paper Series (since 2020) 74712, Duisburg-Essen University Library, DuEPublico.
    9. Fatma Romeh M. Ali & Shiferaw Gurmu, 2018. "The impact of female education on fertility: a natural experiment from Egypt," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 681-712, September.
    10. Nguyen-Phung, Hang Thu, 2023. "The impact of maternal education on child mortality: Evidence from an increase tuition fee policy in Vietnam," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    11. Kronenberg, Christoph, 2020. "New(spaper) Evidence of a Reduction in Suicide Mentions during the 19th‐century US Gold Rush," CINCH Working Paper Series (since 2020) 73382, Duisburg-Essen University Library, DuEPublico.
    12. Elizabeth Lemmon, 2018. "Utilisation of personal care services in Scotland: the influence of unpaid carers," CINCH Working Paper Series 1802, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    13. Kazuya Masuda & Chikako Yamauchi, 2017. "The Effects of Female Education on Adolescent Pregnancy and Child Health: Evidence from Uganda fs Universal Primary Education for Fully Treated Cohorts," GRIPS Discussion Papers 17-01, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    14. Frederik Wild & David Stadelmann, 2024. "Heterogeneous Effects of Women's Schooling on Fertility, Literacy and Work: Evidence from Burundi's Free Primary Education Policy," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies, vol. 33(1), pages 67-91.
    15. Bharati, Tushar & Chang, Simon & Li, Qing, 2021. "The Effect of Tertiary Education Expansion on Fertility: A Note on Identification," IZA Discussion Papers 14672, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Higher Education; Assortative Matching; Marriage; Policy Evaluation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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