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

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  • Margherita Fort
  • Nichole Schneeweis
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

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.

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  • Margherita Fort & Nichole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," NRN working papers 2011-11, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2011_11
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    Cited by:

    1. Murat G. Kýrdar & Meltem Dayýoglu Tayfur & Ýsmet Koç, 2010. "The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1035, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Nicole Schneeweis & Vegard Skirbekk & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2012. "Does schooling improve cognitive functioning at older ages?," Economics working papers 2012-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:509-539 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Chiara Falco, 2015. "Education and migration: empirical evidence from Ecuador," Working Papers 297, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2015.
    9. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Mäder, Miriam, 2012. "The Effect of Education on Fertility: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62037, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Mocan, Naci & Pogorelova, Luiza, 2014. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition," IZA Discussion Papers 8698, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. 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.
    18. 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).
    19. 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".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Instrumental Variables; Education; Fertility;

    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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