Women's Education: Harbinger of Another Spring? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Turkey

42 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2013

See all articles by Mehmet Alper Dinçer

Mehmet Alper Dinçer

Sabanci University

Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office; CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

We use the 1997 Education Law in Turkey that increased compulsory formal schooling from five to eight years to study the effect of women's education on a range of outcomes relating to women's fertility, their children's health and measures of empowerment. We apply an instrumental variables methodology and find that a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of ever married women with eight years of schooling lowered number of pregnancies per woman by 0.13 and number of children per women by 0.11. There is also some evidence of a decline in child mortality, caused by mother's education, but effects turn statistically insignificant in our preferred models. We also find that a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion with eight years of schooling raised the proportion of women using modern family planning methods by eight to nine percent and the proportion of women with knowledge of their ovulation cycle by five to seven percent. However, we find little evidence that schooling changed women's attitudes towards gender equality.

Suggested Citation

Dinçer, Mehmet Alper and Kaushal, Neeraj and Grossman, Michael, Women's Education: Harbinger of Another Spring? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Turkey (October 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19597. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2348506

Mehmet Alper Dinçer (Contact Author)

Sabanci University ( email )

No Address Available

Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office ( email )

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New York, NY 10004-2630
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917-426-7105 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mgrossman.ws.gc.cuny.edu

CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics ( email )

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New York, NY 10016
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212-817-7959 (Phone)
212-817-1597 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mgrossman.ws.gc.cuny.edu

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