Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

26 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 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

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Abstract

Declining fertility is often attributed to the increased education of women. It is difficult to establish a causal link because both fertility and education have changed secularly. In this paper we study the connection between fertility and education using educational reform as an instrument to control for selection. Our results indicate that increasing education leads to postponement of first births away from teenage motherhood and towards women having their first birth in their 20s as well as, for a smaller group, up to the age of 35-40. We find no evidence, however, that more education results in more women remaining childless or having fewer children.

Keywords: Fertility, education, educational reform

JEL Classification: I21, J13, J24

Suggested Citation

Monstad, Karin and Propper, Carol and Salvanes, Kjell G., Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 110, No. 4, pp. 827-852, December 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1308725 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2008.00563.x

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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