Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia

Miron Tequame & Nyasha Tirivayi

#2015-019

This paper studies the effect of women's higher education on fertility outcomes in Ethiopia. We exploit an abrupt increase in the supply of tertiary education induced by a liberalisation policy. Using an age discontinuity in the exposure to higher education reform, we find that education lowers fertility by 8% and increases the likelihood of never giving birth by 25%. We explore the role of potential underlying mechanisms and find that this negative effect on fertility is channelled through positive assortative mating and the postponement of marriage and motherhood.

JEL Classification: O12, I23, I25, I38, J12, J13

Keywords: Higher Education, Fertility, Assortative Mating, Marriage, Policy Evaluation

  


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