The Effect of Education on the Timing of Marriage and First Conception in Pakistan
It is often argued that a rapid rise in educational attainment of women, an increase in the age at marriage and an increase in the age at first birth are key features of demographic transition in any country. Education is the prime catalyst in this process because increases in educational attainment are likely to significantly affect both age at marriage and the duration to first conception-in particular increasing both the age at marriage and the time to first child. This paper uses individual level unit record data from Pakistan to examine the effect of education on the age at marriage and on the duration between marriage and first conception. We estimate a structural model, which accounts for the interaction between the three main variables of interest. Our estimation results show that women who have more education delay marriage but increased educational attainment does not have a significant effect on the duration to first conception. Women who marry late have a child faster. Education of the husband significantly affects the time to conception.
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