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Empowering Women: The Effect of Schooling on Young Women's Knowledge and Use of Contraception

Author

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  • Andalón, Mabel

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Williams, Jenny

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Grossman, Michael

    () (CUNY Graduate Center)

Abstract

Large differences in fertility between women with high and low levels of education suggest that schooling may have a direct impact on knowledge and use of contraception. We investigate this issue using information on women in Mexico. In order to identify the causal effect of schooling, we exploit temporal and geographic variation in the number of lower secondary schools built following the extension of compulsory education in Mexico from 6th to 9th grade in 1993. We show that raising females' schooling beyond 6th grade increases their knowledge of contraception during their reproductive years and increases their propensity to use contraception at sexual debut. This indicates that the impact of schooling on women's wellbeing extends beyond improved labour market outcomes and includes greater autonomy over their fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Andalón, Mabel & Williams, Jenny & Grossman, Michael, 2014. "Empowering Women: The Effect of Schooling on Young Women's Knowledge and Use of Contraception," IZA Discussion Papers 7900, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7900
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Grossman, 2015. "The Relationship between Health and Schooling: What's New?," Working Papers 8, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics.
    2. Steingrimsdottir, Herdis, 2016. "Reproductive rights and the career plans of U.S. college freshmen," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-41.
    3. Le, Kien & Nguyen, My, 2020. "Shedding light on maternal education and child health in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    4. Grépin, Karen A. & Bharadwaj, Prashant, 2015. "Maternal education and child mortality in Zimbabwe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 97-117.
    5. Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez & Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2015. "Risky Health Behaviors: Evidence for an Emerging Economy," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 013040, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    6. Steingrimsdottir, Herdis, 2020. "The decreased popularity of the teaching sector in the 1970s," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    schooling; empowerment; contraception; knowledge; natural experiment; Mexico;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

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