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Does Female Schooling Reduce Fertility? Evidence from Nigeria

  • Una Okonkwo Osili
  • Bridget Terry Long

The literature generally points to a negative relationship between female education and fertility. Citing this pattern, policymakers have advocated educating girls and young women as a means to reduce population growth and foster sustained economic and social welfare in developing countries. This paper tests whether the relationship between fertility and education is indeed causal by investigating the introduction of universal primary education in Nigeria. Exploiting differences by region and age, the paper uses differences-in-differences and instrumental variables to estimate the role of education in fertility. The analysis suggests that increasing education by one year reduces fertility by 0.26 births.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13070.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Publication status: published as Osili, Una Okonkwo and B. T. Long. “Does Female Schooling Reduce Fertility? Evidence from Nigeria.” Journal of Development Economics 87, 1 (2008): 57‐75.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13070
Note: ED
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  15. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  16. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
  17. Paul Schultz, T., 2002. "Why Governments Should Invest More to Educate Girls," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 207-225, February.
  18. Ainsworth, Martha & Beegle, Kathleen & Nyamete, Andrew, 1996. "The Impact of Women's Schooling on Fertility and Contraceptive Use: A Study of Fourteen Sub-Saharan African Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 85-122, January.
  19. Francis, P.A., 1998. "Hard Lessons. Primary Schools, Community, and Social Capital in Nigeria," Papers 420, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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  23. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:75-113 is not listed on IDEAS
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