Does Parental Education Affect Fertility? Evidence from Pre-Demographic Transition Prussia
Sascha O. Becker
University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Ifo Institute for Economic Research
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research) - Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research
April 29, 2011
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3430
While women’s employment opportunities, relative wages, and the child quantity‐quality trade‐off have been studied as factors underlying historical fertility limitation, the role of parental education has received little attention. We combine Prussian county data from three censuses - 1816, 1849, and 1867 - to estimate the relationship between women’s education and their fertility before the demographic transition. Despite controlling for several demand and supply factors, we find a negative residual effect of women’s education on fertility. Instrumental‐variable estimates, using exogenous variation in women’s education driven by differences in landownership inequality, suggest that the effect of women’s education on fertility is causal.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: demographic transition, female education, fertility, nineteenth century Prussia
JEL Classification: N330, J130, J240working papers series
Date posted: May 4, 2011
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