Empowering Women: The Effect of Schooling on Young Women's Knowledge and Use of Contraception

44 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014

See all articles by Mabel Andalon

Mabel Andalon

University of Melbourne

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Michael Grossman

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

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Abstract

Large differences in fertility between women with high and low levels of education suggest that schooling may have a direct impact on knowledge and use of contraception. We investigate this issue using information on women in Mexico. In order to identify the causal effect of schooling, we exploit temporal and geographic variation in the number of lower secondary schools built following the extension of compulsory education in Mexico from 6th to 9th grade in 1993. We show that raising females' schooling beyond 6th grade increases their knowledge of contraception during their reproductive years and increases their propensity to use contraception at sexual debut. This indicates that the impact of schooling on women's wellbeing extends beyond improved labour market outcomes and includes greater autonomy over their fertility.

Keywords: schooling, empowerment, contraception, knowledge, natural experiment, Mexico

JEL Classification: I10, I18, I25

Suggested Citation

Andalon, Mabel and Williams, Jenny and Grossman, Michael, Empowering Women: The Effect of Schooling on Young Women's Knowledge and Use of Contraception. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7900. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2385157

Mabel Andalon (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/staffprofile/jwilliams.htm

Michael Grossman

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

5 Hanover Square
16th Floor, Suite 1602
New York, NY 10004-2630
United States
917-261-3127 (Phone)
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
United States
212-817-7959 (Phone)
212-817-1597 (Fax)

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

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