The Effect of Education on Overall Fertility
44 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2017 Last revised: 9 May 2022
Date Written: December 2016
Fertility rates have long been falling in many developed countries while educational attainment in these countries has risen. We attempt to reconcile these two trends with a novel application of a recent model to generate plausibly causal effects of education on these decreases in fertility. Specifically, we find that education “compresses” the fertility distribution – women are more likely to have at least one child, but less likely to have multiple children. We demonstrate that the mechanism for this effect is through the positive impact of education on earnings and marriage.
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