Just A Matter of Time: Empirical Evidence of the Causal Effect of Education on Fertility in Italy
Title: Just A Matter of Time: Empirical Evidence of the Causal Effect of Education on Fertility in Italy
Author: FORT, Margherita
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2007/22
This paper assesses the causal effects of education on fertility, allowing for heterogeneity in the effects while controlling for the self-selection of women into education. Identification relies on exogenous variation in schooling induced by a mandatory school reform implemented nationwide in Italy in the early 1960s. The findings suggest that: (i) an increase from primary to junior high school education causes a large proportion of women to postpone early births; (ii) the effect vanishes at older ages and women catch up with the fertility delay before turning 26; (iii) the effect of the increase in education on the number of children a woman has is negligible; (iv) there is large heterogeneity in the fertility behaviour of women.
Subject: Education; Motherhood; Regression Discontinuity Design; J1; I2
Type of Access: openAccess