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Gender empowerment as an enforcer of individuals’ choice between education and fertility: Evidence from 19th century France

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  • Claude Diebolt

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine)

  • Tapas Mishra

    (University of Southampton)

  • Faustine Perrin

    (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine, Lund University [Lund])

Abstract

Recent theoretical developments in growth models, triggered particularly by unified theories of growth, suggest that the child quantity-quality trade-off is a defining element in our explanation of a transition from Malthusian stagnation to a sustained growth path. This paper presents a model and derives a testable empirical framework to investigate the role of gender in the trade-off between education and fertility for 86 French counties during the 19th century. Endogeneity-mitigated mean-and median-based regressions offer robust empirical predictions for gender-empowered quantity-quality trade-off. In particular, we find the existence of a significant and negative association between education and fertility. Further, while gauging the differential effects of schooling on fertility, we find that the short-run differences between male and female are small whilst the long-run effects are large. From policy perspective, our results imply that for stable long-run growth it matters not just that parents educate their children, but specifically that they choose to educate girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Claude Diebolt & Tapas Mishra & Faustine Perrin, 2021. "Gender empowerment as an enforcer of individuals’ choice between education and fertility: Evidence from 19th century France," Post-Print hal-03345562, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03345562
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.05.011
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03345562
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Model of individuals' choice; Gender difference; Education; Fertility; Unified growth theory; Nineteenth century France; Quantity-quality trade-off; Cliometrics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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