Female Education and Fertility

Female Education and Fertility - NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES...

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NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES THE EFFECT OF FEMALE EDUCATION ON FERTILITY AND INFANT HEALTH : EVIDENCE FROM SCHOOL ENTRY POLICIES USING EXACT DATE OF BIRTH Justin McCrary Heather Royer Working Paper 12329 http://www.nber.org/papers/w12329 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 June 2006 For useful comments we thank the editor and three anonymous referees, Josh Angrist, Eli Berman, John Bound, David Card, Kerwin Charles, Ken Chay, Janet Currie, John DiNardo, Carlos Dobkin, Sue Dynarski, Michael Greenstone, Michael Grossman, Caroline Hoxby, Mireille Jacobson, Alan Krueger, Ted Joyce, David Lee, Darren Lubotsky, Paco Martorell, Enrico Moretti, Jack Porter, Jim Powell, Dahlia Remler, Gary Solon, Duncan Thomas, Dean Yang and numerous seminar participants. Royer thanks the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for generous support. Any errors are our own. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. ©2006 by Justin McCrary and Heather Royer. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to the source.
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The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth Justin McCrary and Heather Royer NBER Working Paper No. 12329 June 2006 JEL No. C3, D1, I1, J2 ABSTRACT This paper uses age-at-school-entry policies to identify the effect of female education on fertility and infant health. We focus on sharp contrasts in schooling, fertility, and infant health between women born just before and after the school entry date. School entry policies affect female education and the quality of a woman’s mate and have generally small, but possibly heterogeneous, effects on fertility and infant health. We argue that school entry policies manipulate primarily the education of young women at risk of dropping out of school. Justin McCrary University of Michigan 440 Lorch Hall Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220 and NBER jmccrary@umich.edu Heather Royer University of Michigan 109 Observatory, SPH-II, M2102 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029 hroyer@umich.edu
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I. Introduction Education is widely held to be a key determinant of fertility and infant health. From a theoretical perspective, several causal channels have been emphasized. First, education raises a woman’s permanent income through earnings, tilting her optimal fertility choices toward fewer offspring of higher quality (Becker 1960, Mincer 1963, Becker and Lewis 1973, Willis 1973). Second, under positive assortative mating, a woman’s education is causally connected to her mate’s education (Behrman and Rosenzweig 2002), so that the effect of education on household permanent income is augmented through a multiplier effect. Third, education may improve an individual’s knowledge of, and ability to process information regarding, fertility options and healthy pregnancy behaviors (Grossman 1972).
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This note was uploaded on 12/26/2011 for the course ECON 245a taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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Female Education and Fertility - NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES...

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