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The Effect of Education on Fertility: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform

  • Cygan-Rehm, Kamila
  • Mäder, Miriam
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    This study analyzes the effect of education on the number of children, childlessness, and the timing of the first birth. We use exogenous variation from a mandatory reform to compulsory schooling in West Germany to deal with the endogeneity of schooling. In contrast to studies for other developed countries, we find a significant negative effect of education on completed fertility. We attribute this finding to the particularly high opportunity costs of child-rearing in Germany.

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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century with number 62037.

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    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62037
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    5. Grönqvist, Hans & Hall, Caroline, 2013. "Education policy and early fertility: Lessons from an expansion of upper secondary schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 13-33.
    6. Margherita Fort & Nichole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2011. "More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe," NRN working papers 2011-11, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    7. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
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    10. Jorn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2005. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling In Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 11414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    15. Mary Silles, 2011. "The effect of schooling on teenage childbearing: evidence using changes in compulsory education laws," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 761-777, April.
    16. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
    17. Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "The excess demand for subsidized child care in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(10), pages 1217-1228.
    18. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-95, February.
    19. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
    20. Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2003. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence from the German Short School Year," NBER Working Papers 9964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. SandraE. Black & PaulJ. Devereux & KjellG. Salvanes, 2008. "Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1025-1054, 07.
    22. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong: Birthday Effects and Early Tracking in the German School System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2055, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Johannes Geyer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers' Employment and Working Hours across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 682, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    24. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
    25. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
    26. Markus Gangl & Andrea Ziefle, 2009. "Motherhood, labor force behavior, and women’s careers: An empirical assessment of the wage penalty for motherhood in britain, germany, and the united states," Demography, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 341-369, May.
    27. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    28. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1989. "Schooling, Information and Nonmarket Productivity: Contraceptive Use and Its Effectiveness," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 457-77, May.
    29. Brunello, Giorgio & Fort, Margherita & Schneeweis, Nicole & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health," Economics Series 280, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    30. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
    31. FFF1Michaela NNN1Kreyenfeld, 2004. "Fertility Decisions in the FRG and GDR: An Analysis with Data from the German Fertility and Family Survey," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(11), pages 275-318, April.
    32. Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Schooling and Citizenship in a Young Democracy: Evidence from Postwar Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(2), pages 315-338, 06.
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