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The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?

Lucia Breierova and Esther Duflo

No 217, OECD Development Centre Working Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: This paper takes advantage of a massive school construction program that took place in Indonesia between 1973 and 1978 to estimate the effect of education on fertility and child mortality. Time and region varying exposure to the school construction program generates instrumental variables for the average education in the household, and the difference in education between husband and wife. We show that female education is a stronger determinant of age at marriage and early fertility than male education. However, female and male education seem equally important factors in reducing child mortality. We suggest that the OLS estimate of the differential effect of women’s and men’s education may be biased by failure to take in to account assortative matching ... Ce document profite d’un programme massif de construction d’écoles mis en œuvre en Indonésie entre 1973 et 1978 pour déterminer les effets de l’éducation sur la fertilité et la mortalité infantile. L’impact changeant, dans le temps et dans les régions, de ce programme de construction d’écoles produit des variables instrumentales pour le niveau d’éducation moyen du ménage et pour les différences de niveau entre le mari et la femme. Les auteurs montrent que l’éducation des filles a davantage d’influence sur l’âge du mariage et du premier enfant que l’éducation des garçons. Cela étant, l’éducation des filles et des garçons semble avoir le même impact sur la réduction de la mortalité infantile. Les auteurs indiquent que l’estimation par les moindres carrés ordinaires de l’impact différentiel de l’éducation des femmes et des hommes pourrait bien être biaisée par l’incapacité à tenir compte de la constitution des couples par affinité sociale ...

Date: 2003-11-01
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