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More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe

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  • Fort, Margherita

    (University of Bologna)

  • Schneeweis, Nicole

    (University of Linz)

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    (University of Linz)

Abstract

We study the relationship between education and fertility, exploiting compulsory schooling reforms in Europe as source of exogenous variation in education. Using data from 8 European countries, we assess the causal effect of education on the number of biological kids and the incidence of childlessness. We find that more education causes a substantial decrease in childlessness and an increase in the average number of children per woman. Our findings are robust to a number of falsification checks and we can provide complementary empirical evidence on the mechanisms leading to these surprising results.

Suggested Citation

  • Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 6015, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6015
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria K. Humlum & Jannie H.G. Kristoffersen & Rune Vejlin, 2012. "Timing of College Enrollment and Family Formation Decisions," Economics Working Papers 2012-01, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Nicole Schneeweis & Vegard Skirbekk & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2012. "Does schooling improve cognitive functioning at older ages?," NRN working papers 2012-11, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. 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.
    4. Mocan, Naci & Pogorelova, Luiza, 2017. "Compulsory schooling laws and formation of beliefs: Education, religion and superstition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 509-539.
    5. Vikesh Amin & Jere Behrman, 2014. "Do more-schooled women have fewer children and delay childbearing? Evidence from a sample of US twins," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 1-31, January.
    6. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Mäder, Miriam, 2012. "The Effect of Education on Fertility: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62037, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1423, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    8. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Maeder, Miriam, 2013. "The effect of education on fertility: Evidence from a compulsory schooling reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 35-48.
    9. Murat G. Kırdar & Meltem Dayıoğlu & İsmet Koç, 2018. "The Effects of Compulsory-Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 640-668.
    10. Mocan, Naci & Pogorelova, Luiza, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," IZA Discussion Papers 8698, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 2016. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 314-336, March.
    12. Gathmann, Christina & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2015. "Compulsory schooling reforms, education and mortality in twentieth century Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 74-82.
    13. Anthony Strittmatter & Uwe Sunde, 2013. "Health and economic development—evidence from the introduction of public health care," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1549-1584, October.
    14. Chiara Falco, 2015. "Education and migration: empirical evidence from Ecuador," Working Papers 297, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2015.
    15. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    16. G. Brunello & M. Fort & G. Weber & C. T. Weiss, 2013. "Testing the Internal Validity of Compulsory School Reforms as Instrument for Years of Schooling," Working Papers wp911, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    17. Josefine Koebe & Jan Marcus, 2020. "The Impact of the Length of Schooling on the Timing of Family Formation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1896, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," NBER Working Papers 20557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Kamila Cygan-Rehm & Miriam Maeder, 2012. "The Effect of Education on Fertility: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 528, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    20. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2013. "The causal effect of parents� schooling on children�s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach," Working Papers 2013:30, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

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    Keywords

    fertility; instrumental variables; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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