Do More-Schooled Women Have Fewer Children and Delay Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of U.S. Twins

33 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2011

See all articles by Vikesh Amin

Vikesh Amin

Central Michigan University

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 5, 2011

Abstract

Using data on MZ (monozygotic, identical) female twins from the Minnesota Twin Registry, we estimate the causal effect of schooling on completed fertility, probability of being childless and age at first birth, using the within MZ twins methodology. We find strong cross-sectional associations between schooling and the fertility outcomes and some evidence that more schooling causes women to have fewer children and delay childbearing, though not to the extent that interpreting cross-sectional associations as causal would imply. Our conclusions are robust when taking account of (1) endogenous within-twin pair schooling differences due to reverse causality and (2) measurement error in schooling. We also investigate possible mechanisms and find that the effect of women’s schooling on completed fertility is not mediated through husband’s schooling but rather through age at first marriage.

Keywords: twins, twins fixed-effects, schooling, fertility

JEL Classification: I2, J13

Suggested Citation

Amin, Vikesh and Behrman, Jere R., Do More-Schooled Women Have Fewer Children and Delay Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of U.S. Twins (December 5, 2011). PIER Working Paper No. 11-041. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1968451 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1968451

Vikesh Amin

Central Michigan University

Jere R. Behrman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

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