Mother's schooling and fertility under low female labor force participation : evidence from a natural experiment
Lavy, Victor and Zablotsky, Alexander (2011) Mother's schooling and fertility under low female labor force participation : evidence from a natural experiment. Working Paper. Cambridge, MA: The National Bureau of Economic Research. NBER Working Papers (No.16856). (Unpublished)Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16856.pdf
This paper studies the effect of mothers' education on fertility in a population with very low female labor force participation. The results we present are particularly relevant to many countries in the Muslim world where 70-80 percent of women are still out of the labor force. For identification we exploit the abrupt end of the military rule which greatly restricted the mobility of Arabs in Israel until the mid-1960's. This change improved access to schooling in communities that lacked schools and, as a consequence, significantly increased the education of affected cohorts, mainly of girls. The very large increase in schooling attainment triggered a sharp decline in completed fertility. We show that no other changes explain these findings and that the results are robust to checks against various threats to identification. We rule out convergence in fertility and schooling, changes in labor-force participation, age upon marriage, marriage and divorce rates, and spousal labor-force participation and earnings as mechanisms in this fertility decline. Spousal education increased however sharply through assortative matching and played a role in the fertility decline. We also show that the increase in mother's education was significantly and positively correlated with several potential mechanisms such as a reduction in the desired number of children, better knowledge and higher probability of using contraceptives, recognition that family size can compromise children quality, larger role for women in family decision making, less religiosity, and positive attitude towards modern health care and modernism in general.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
L Education > L Education (General)
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Series Name:||NBER Working Papers|
|Publisher:||The National Bureau of Economic Research|
|Place of Publication:||Cambridge, MA|
|Official Date:||March 2011|
|Number of Pages:||59|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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