From high school to the high chair: Education and fertility timing
Jonathan James, Sunčica Vujić, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Economics of Education Review Volume 69, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
We exploit an expansion of post-compulsory schooling that occurred from the late 1980s to the early 1990s to investigate the effect of education on the timing of fertility in England and Wales. We do not find a significant effect on the probability of having a child as a teenager but instead find that the variation in education led to delays in childbearing. Our estimates suggest that an increase in education by one year led to a 5.3% increase in probability of first birth aged 24 or above, 9.4% increase in probability of first birth aged 27 or above, and 13.3% increase in probability of first birth aged 30 or above. The mechanisms driving these findings are not due to an incapacitation effect – by keeping young people in school or university they have less time or opportunity to have a child – but due to a combination of human capital and signalling effects.
James, J. & Vujić, S. (2019). From high school to the high chair: Education and fertility timing. Economics of Education Review, 69(1), 1-24. Elsevier Ltd.