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


  • Cygan-Rehm, Kamila
  • Mäder, Miriam


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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  • Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Mäder, Miriam, 2012. "The Effect of Education on Fertility: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62037, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62037

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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