DP8339 Does Parental Education Affect Fertility? Evidence from Pre-Demographic Transition Prussia
|Author(s):||Sascha O. Becker, Francesco Cinnirella, Ludger Woessmann|
|Publication Date:||April 2011|
|Keyword(s):||Demographic Transition, Female Education, Fertility, Nineteenth Century Prussia|
|JEL(s):||J13, J24, N33|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics|
|Link to this Page:||http://www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP8339|
While women's employment opportunities, relative wages, and the child quantity-quality trade-off have been studied as factors underlying historical fertility limitation, the role of parental education has received little attention. We combine Prussian county data from three censuses--1816, 1849, and 1867--to estimate the relationship between women’s education and their fertility before the demographic transition. Despite controlling for several demand and supply factors, we find a negative residual effect of women’s education on fertility. Instrumental-variable estimates, using exogenous variation in women's education driven by differences in landownership inequality, suggest that the effect of women’s education on fertility is causal.