Fertility Effects of College Education : Evidence from the German Educational Expansion

Kamhöfer, Daniel A. GND; Westphal, Matthias GND

We estimate the effects of college education on female fertility – a so far understudied margin of education, which we instrument by arguably exogenous variation induced through college expansions. While college education reduces the probability of becoming a mother, college-educated mothers have slightly more children than mothers without a college education. Unfolding the effects by the timing of birth reveals a postponement that goes beyond the time in college – indicating a negative early-career effect on fertility. Coupled with higher labor-supply and wage returns for non-mothers as compared to mothers the timing effects moreover suggest that career and family are not fully compatible.


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Kamhöfer, Daniel / Forsstrom, Matthew: Fertility Effects of College Education. Evidence from the German Educational Expansion. 2017.

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