The effect of schooling on fertility, labor market participation and children?s outcomes, evidence from Ecuador
Using a representative sample of Ecuadorian young women’s households, this paper focuses on the role played by education in shaping fertility choices, labor market participation rate and future children’s outcomes. Education, which is found to be endogenous with respect to teenage childbearing, is instrumented by a reform that took place in 1977. Estimates show that the completion of lower secondary school decreases the probability of early motherhood by 7%. Then, after controlling for labor market preferences in a model where the choices to be a mother and to be in the labor force are considered simultaneously, we find evidence that schooling is positively related to women’s labor market participation rate and negatively to early motherhood. The last section concludes stressing the potential intergenerational effects of changes in the age at first birth, showing that firstborn children born to older mothers have better educational outcomes than those born to younger ones. So policies aimed at increasing women educational attainment are found to be positively related to better women’s outcomes, expressed by lowered teenage motherhood rate and by increased labor market attachment, and also to improved children’s conditions, represented by their schooling attendance.
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