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

  • Margherita Fort
  • Nichole Schneeweis
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

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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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2011-11.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2011_11
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NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz

Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
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