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Does womens education affect fertility? Evidence from pre-demographic transition Prussia

Listed author(s):
  • Becker, Sascha O.
  • Cinnirella, Francesco
  • Wößmann, Ludger

While womens employment opportunities, relative wages, and the childquantityquality trade-off have been studied as factors underlyinghistorical fertility limitation, the role of womens education hasreceived little attention. We combine Prussian county data from threecensusesu1816, 1849, and 1867uto estimate the relationship betweenwomens education and their fertility before the demographic transition.Despite controlling for several demand and supply factors, we find anegative residual effect of womens education on fertility.Instrumental-variable estimates using educational variation derivingfrom landownership concentration, as well as panel estimates controllingfor fixed effects of counties, suggest that the effect of womenseducation on fertility is causal.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20263.

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Date of creation: 2013
Publication status: Published in European Review of Economic History 1 17(2013): pp. 24-44
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20263
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  2. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
  3. Oded Galor, 2012. "The demographic transition: causes and consequences," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 1-28, January.
  4. Nico Voigtl?nder & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "How the West "Invented" Fertility Restriction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2227-2264, October.
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  6. Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2010. "Consumption, Social Capital, and the “Industrious Revolution” in Early Modern Germany," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(02), pages 287-325, June.
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  8. 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 143-162, August.
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  10. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2012. "The effect of investment in children’s education on fertility in 1816 Prussia," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 29-44, January.
  11. Matthias Doepke, 2005. "Child mortality and fertility decline: Does the Barro-Becker model fit the facts?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 337-366, 06.
  12. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  13. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
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  16. Becker, Sascha O. & Cinnirella, Francesco & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "Does Parental Education Affect Fertility? Evidence from Pre-Demographic Transition Prussia," CEPR Discussion Papers 8339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
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  20. Wanamaker, Marianne H., 2012. "Industrialization and Fertility in the Nineteenth Century: Evidence from South Carolina," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 168-196, March.
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  24. Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "Changing World Prices, Women's Wages, and the Fertility Transition: Sweden, 1860-1910," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1126-1154, December.
  25. Dribe, Martin, 2009. "Demand and supply factors in the fertility transition: a county-level analysis of age-specific marital fertility in Sweden, 1880–1930," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 65-94, April.
  26. Harvey Leibenstein, 1975. "The Economic Theory of Fertility Decline," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-31.
  27. John C. Brown & Timothy W. Guinnane, 2007. "Regions and time in the European fertility transition: problems in the Princeton Project's statistical methodology -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(3), pages 574-595, August.
  28. John Knodel, 1979. "From natural fertility to family limitation: The onset of fertility transition in a sample of German villages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 16(4), pages 493-521, November.
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