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

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 deregulation 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 channeled through positive assortative mating and the postponement of marriage and motherhood.


CINCH working paper series


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