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Women's Education, Marriage, and Fertility Outcomes: Evidence from Thailand's Compulsory Schooling Law

Pasita Chaijaroen and Pallavi Panda

No 1314, GLO Discussion Paper Series from Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Abstract: Increased education affects market and non-market outcomes. This paper investigates the causal impact of the extension of compulsory education from 6 to 9 years on females' education, marriage, and fertility outcomes in Thailand. Using data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and a donut-hole Regression Discontinuity (RD) design, we show that the new law increases lower secondary school completion in girls, leading to decreased probabilities of giving birth in the school-age years (14-17 years). The policy primarily affects the marginal child leading to the postponement of the timing of their fertility to after-school years. We also document heterogeneity and show that the fertility effects are stronger for Muslim women. The policy leads to a consistent drop in the probability of marriage and cumulative births for Muslim women, which sustain beyond the completion of schooling years. The results hold with alternative empirical model specifications and falsification tests.

Keywords: Compulsory Schooling; Education; Marriage; Fertility; Thailand; Social Norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I25 I28 J12 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-edu, nep-sea and nep-ure
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