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Timing of College Enrollment and Family Formation Decisions

  • Humlum, Maria Knoth


    (Aarhus University)

  • Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G.


    (CEBR, Copenhagen)

  • Vejlin, Rune Majlund


    (Aarhus University)

The level of progression of an individual's educational or labor market career is a potentially important factor for family formation decisions. We address this issue by considering the effects of a particular college admission system on family formation. We show that the admission system affects mainly the timing of college enrollment and not the college-going decision. As such, we consider a specific type of career interruption and its consequences for relationship formation and fertility decisions. Specifically, we employ a regression discontinuity design based on the college admission system to estimate the effect of being above the admission requirement in the year of application on later family formation decisions. We find that the admission system has substantial effects on the timing of family formation and, specifically, that the timing of college enrollment is an important determinant hereof. This suggests that career interruptions such as delays in the educational system can have large effects on family decision-making.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7905.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7905
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  1. Öckert, Björn, 2010. "What's the value of an acceptance letter? Using admissions data to estimate the return to college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 504-516, August.
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  3. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-95, February.
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  14. Holmlund, Bertil & Liu, Qian & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2006. "Mind the Gap? Estimating the Effects of Postponing Higher Education," Working Paper Series 2006:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  15. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
  16. Grönqvist, Hans & Hall, Caroline, 2011. "Education policy and early fertility: Lessons from an expansion of upper secondary schooling," Working Paper Series 14/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
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