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Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia

Author

Listed:
  • Tequamem, Miron
  • Tirivayi, Nyasha

    (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of women's higher education on fertility outcomes in Ethiopia. We exploit an abrupt increase in the supply of tertiary education induced by a liberalisation policy. Using an age discontinuity in the exposure to higher education reform, we find that education lowers fertility by 8% and increases the likelihood of never giving birth by 25%. We explore the role of potential underlying mechanisms and find that this negative effect on fertility is channelled through positive assortative mating and the postponement of marriage and motherhood.

Suggested Citation

  • Tequamem, Miron & Tirivayi, Nyasha, 2015. "Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia," MERIT Working Papers 019, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2015019
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2015/wp2015-019.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 661, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Kazuya Masuda & Chikako Yamauchi, 2017. "The Effects of Female Education on Adolescent Pregnancy and Child Health: Evidence from Uganda fs Universal Primary Education for Fully Treated Cohorts," GRIPS Discussion Papers 17-01, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher Education; Fertility; Assortative Mating; Marriage; Policy Evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • 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

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