The effect of education on overall fertility
Authors: DeCicca, Philip and Krashinsky, Harry
Fertility rates have long been falling in many developed countries, while educational attainment in those countries has risen. We attempt to reconcile these two trends with a novel application of two recent models to generate plausibly causal effects of education that can explain these decreases in fertility. Using Canadian data, we exploit changes in compulsory schooling laws to 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 the positive impact of education on earnings and marriage.
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