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Women's Education: Harbinger of Another Spring? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Turkey

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  • Mehmet Alper Dinçer
  • Neeraj Kaushal
  • Michael Grossman

Abstract

We use the 1997 Education Law in Turkey that increased compulsory formal schooling from five to eight years to study the effect of women's education on a range of outcomes relating to women's fertility, their children's health and measures of empowerment. We apply an instrumental variables methodology and find that a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of ever married women with eight years of schooling lowered number of pregnancies per woman by 0.13 and number of children per women by 0.11. There is also some evidence of a decline in child mortality, caused by mother's education, but effects turn statistically insignificant in our preferred models. We also find that a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion with eight years of schooling raised the proportion of women using modern family planning methods by eight to nine percent and the proportion of women with knowledge of their ovulation cycle by five to seven percent. However, we find little evidence that schooling changed women's attitudes towards gender equality.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehmet Alper Dinçer & Neeraj Kaushal & Michael Grossman, 2013. "Women's Education: Harbinger of Another Spring? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Turkey," NBER Working Papers 19597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Women’s Education: Harbinger of Another Spring?
      by pmakdissi in NEP-ARA blog on 2014-03-03 04:20:10

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Murat G. Kýrdar & Meltem Dayýoglu Tayfur & Ýsmet Koç, 2010. "The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1035, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    2. Bilge Erten & Luis Pinar Keskin, 2017. "Breaking the Cycle? Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Violence," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series dp-296, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Deniz Karaoğlan & Dürdane Sirin Saracoglu, 2018. "Women’s education, employment status and the choice of birth control method: An investigation for the case of Turkey," ERC Working Papers 1803, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Feb 2018.
    4. Bahadir Dursun & Resul Cesur & Inas Rashad Kelly, 2017. "The Value of Mandating Maternal Education in a Developing Country," NBER Working Papers 23492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0650-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michael Grossman, 2015. "The Relationship between Health and Schooling: What's New?," Working Papers 8, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics.
    7. Onur Altindag, 2015. "Son Preference, Fertility Decline and the Non-Missing Girls of Turkey," Working Papers 5, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics, revised 20 Mar 2016.
    8. Resul Cesur & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country," NBER Working Papers 19769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. K?rdar,Murat G. & Day?o?lu,Meltem & Koç,?smet, 2015. "Does longer compulsory education equalize schooling by gender and rural/urban residence ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7377, The World Bank.
    10. Murat G. Kýrdar & Meltem Dayýoðlu & Ýsmet Koç, 2016. "The Effects of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," Working Papers 2016/01, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    11. Güneş Pınar Mine, 2016. "The Impact of Female Education on Teenage Fertility: Evidence from Turkey," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 259-288, January.
    12. Luca, Davide, 2016. "Votes and Regional Economic Growth: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 477-495.
    13. Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez & Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo, 2015. "Risky Health Behaviors: Evidence for an Emerging Economy," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 013040, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    14. Lamichhane, Kamal & Tsujimoto, Takahiro, 2017. "Impact of Universal Primary Education Policy on Out of School Children in Uganda," Working Papers 153, JICA Research Institute.
    15. Özer, Mustafa & Fidrmuc, Jan & Eryurt, Mehmet Ali, 2017. "Maternal education and childhood immunization in Turkey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 108, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Mustafa Özer & Jan Fidrmuc & Mehmet Ali Eryurt, 2017. "Does Maternal Education Affect Childhood Immunization Rates? Evidence from Turkey," CESifo Working Paper Series 6439, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Mabel Andalón & Jenny Williams & Michael Grossman, 2014. "Empowering Women: The Effect of Schooling on Young Women's Knowledge and Use of Contraception," NBER Working Papers 19961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Asena Caner & Cahit Guven & Cagla Okten & Seyhun Orcan Sakalli, 2016. "Gender Roles and the Education Gender Gap in Turkey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1231-1254, December.
    19. Güneş, Pınar Mine, 2015. "The role of maternal education in child health: Evidence from a compulsory schooling law," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-16.
    20. Resul Cesur & Bahadir Dursun & Naci Mocan, 2014. "The Impact of Education on Health and Health Behavior in a Middle-Income, Low-Education Country," NBER Working Papers 20764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Grépin, Karen A. & Bharadwaj, Prashant, 2015. "Maternal education and child mortality in Zimbabwe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 97-117.
    22. Ayca Akarcay-Gurbuz & Sezgin Polat, 2015. "The rocky road to post-compulsory education in Turkey: Intergenerational educational mobility," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1510, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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