Free Primary Education, Fertility, and Women's Access to the Labor Market: Evidence from Ethiopia
Forthcoming, World Bank Economic Review
85 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2016 Last revised: 16 Sep 2019
Date Written: March 30, 2019
This paper investigates the causal relationship between women's schooling and fertility by exploiting variation generated by the removal of school fees in Ethiopia. The increase in schooling caused by the reform is identified using both geographic variation in the intensity of its impact and temporal variation generated by the timing of the implementation. The model finds that the removal of school fees led to an increase in schooling for Ethiopian women, and that each additional year of schooling led to a reduction in fertility. An investigation of the underlying mechanisms linking schooling and fertility finds that the decline in fertility is associated with an increase in labor market opportunity and a reduction in women's ideal number of children.
Keywords: returns to schooling, marriage market, fertility, Ethiopia
JEL Classification: O55, J13, I25, I26
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