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Becker, Sascha O.; Cinnirella, Francesco and Wößmann, Ludger (2013): Does womens education affect fertility? Evidence from pre-demographic transition Prussia. In: European Review of Economic History, Vol. 17, No. 1: pp. 24-44

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While womens employment opportunities, relative wages, and the childquantityquality trade-off have been studied as factors underlyinghistorical fertility limitation, the role of womens education hasreceived little attention. We combine Prussian county data from threecensusesu1816, 1849, and 1867uto estimate the relationship betweenwomens education and their fertility before the demographic transition.Despite controlling for several demand and supply factors, we find anegative residual effect of womens education on fertility.Instrumental-variable estimates using educational variation derivingfrom landownership concentration, as well as panel estimates controllingfor fixed effects of counties, suggest that the effect of womenseducation on fertility is causal.

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