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The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?

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  • Lucia Breierova
  • Esther Duflo

Abstract

This paper takes advantage of a massive school construction program that took place in Indonesia between 1973 and 1978 to estimate the effect of education on fertility and child mortality. Time and region varying exposure to the school construction program generates instrumental variables for the average education in the household, and the difference in education between husband and wife. We show that female education is a stronger determinant of age at marriage and early fertility than male education. However, female and male education seem equally important factors in reducing child mortality. We suggest that the OLS estimate of the differential effect of women's and men's education may be biased by failure to take in to account assortative matching.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2004. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," NBER Working Papers 10513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10513
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    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1988. "Migration selectivity and the effects of public programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 265-289, December.
    2. Paul Gertler & John Molyneaux, 1994. "How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce indonesian fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 33-63, February.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    4. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    5. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Gibbons, Donna M, 1993. "The Determinants and Consequences of the Placement of Government Programs in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 319-348, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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