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Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Policy Change in Kenya

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  • Chicoine, Luke

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Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between women's education and fertility by exploiting a 1985 policy change in Kenya that lengthened primary school by one year. An instrumental variables approach measures the exogenous variation in treatment intensity across birth cohorts. The reform led to an increase in education, a delay in marriage, and reduced fertility beginning at the age of 20. The effect on fertility becomes increasingly negative through age 25. The findings suggest that postponement of marriage, reduction in the marital education gap, and increased early use of modern contraceptives contribute to reduced fertility. These results are consistent with women having greater control over their fertility decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Chicoine, Luke, 2012. "Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Policy Change in Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 6778, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6778
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    Cited by:

    1. Jungho Kim, 2023. "Female education and its impact on fertility," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 228-228, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Francesca Marchetta & David E. Sahn, 2016. "The Role of Education and Family Background in Marriage, Childbearing, and Labor Market Participation in Senegal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 369-403.
    4. Marine de Talancé, 2019. "Education, fertility and childlessness in Indonesia," Erudite Working Paper 2019-15, Erudite.
    5. 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).
    6. André, Pierre & Dupraz, Yannick, 2023. "Education and polygamy: Evidence from Cameroon," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C).
    7. Bloom, David E. & Luca, Dara Lee, 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging: Facts, Explanations, Future," IZA Discussion Papers 10163, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Hamad, Rita & Elser, Holly & Tran, Duy C. & Rehkopf, David H. & Goodman, Steven N., 2018. "How and why studies disagree about the effects of education on health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of compulsory schooling laws," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 168-178.
    9. Orazio Attanasio & Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Costas Meghir, 2015. "Long Term Impacts of Vouchers for Vocational Training: Experimental Evidence for Colombia," Borradores de Economia 13326, Banco de la Republica.
    10. Michael Grimm & Isabel Günther & Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen, 2022. "Slow-downs of fertility decline: When should we call it a 'fertility stall'?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 46(26), pages 737-766.
    11. Annika Lindskog & Dick Durevall, 2021. "To educate a woman and to educate a man: Gender‐specific sexual behavior and human immunodeficiency virus responses to an education reform in Botswana," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 642-658, March.
    12. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    13. Elina Pradhan & David Canning, 2016. "The Effect of Schooling on Teenage Fertility: Evidence from the 1994 Education Reform in Ethiopia," PGDA Working Papers 12816, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    14. Bloom, D.E. & Luca, D.L., 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 3-56, Elsevier.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Dalomi Bahan & Latif Dramani, 2019. "Socioeconomic Status and Fertility Decline in Burkina Faso, 2003-2015," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 6(2), pages 56-70, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; education; Kenya;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

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