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Education policy and early fertility: Lessons from an expansion of upper secondary schooling

Author

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  • Grönqvist, Hans

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University)

  • Hall, Caroline

    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

Abstract

This paper studies effects of education policy on early fertility. We study a major edu-cational reform in Sweden in which vocational tracks in upper secondary school were prolonged from two to three years and the curricula were made more academic. Our identification strategy takes advantage of cross-regional and cross-time variation in the implementation of a pilot scheme preceding the reform in which several municipalities evaluated the new policy. The empirical analysis draws on rich population micro data. We find that women who enrolled in the new program were significantly less likely to give birth early in life and that this effect is driven by women with higher opportunity costs of child rearing. There is however no statistically significant effect on mens ferti-lity decisions. Our results suggest that the social benefits of changes in education policy may extend beyond those usually claimed.

Suggested Citation

  • Grönqvist, Hans & Hall, Caroline, 2011. "Education policy and early fertility: Lessons from an expansion of upper secondary schooling," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2011:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2011_020
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schooling reform; teenage childbearing; fertility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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