Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

35 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008

See all articles by Karin Monstad

Karin Monstad

Uni Research AS

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2008

Abstract

In many developed countries a decline in fertility has occurred. This development has been attributed to greater education of women. However, establishing a causal link is difficult as both fertility and education have changed secularly. The contribution of this paper is to study the connection between fertility and education over a woman's fertile period focusing on whether the relationship is causal. We study fertility in Norway and use an educational reform as an instrument to correct for selection into education. Our results indicate that increasing education leads to postponement of first births away from teenage motherhood towards having the first birth in their twenties and, for a smaller group, up to the age of 35-40. We do not find, however, evidence that total fertility falls as a result of greater education.

Keywords: causal effect, education, female fertility

JEL Classification: I20, J13

Suggested Citation

Monstad, Karin and Propper, Carol and Salvanes, Kjell G., Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (May 2008). , Vol. , pp. -, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1143179

Karin Monstad (Contact Author)

Uni Research AS ( email )

Uni Rokkan Centre
Nygårdsgaten 5
5015 Bergen
Norway

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/propper.htm

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway
+47 5 595 9315 (Phone)
+47 5 595 9543 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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