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Title:The trade-off between fertility and education: evidence from before the demographic transition PDF Logo
Authors:Becker, Sascha O.
Cinnirella, Francesco
Woessmann, Ludger
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4557
Abstract:The trade-off between child quantity and education is a crucial ingredient of unified growth models that explain the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. We present first evidence that such a trade-off indeed existed before the demographic transition, exploiting a unique census-based dataset of 334 Prussian counties in 1849. Estimating two separate instrumental-variable models that instrument education by landownership inequality and distance to Wittenberg and fertility by previous-generation fertility and sex-imbalance ratio, we find that causation between fertility and education runs both ways. Furthermore, education in 1849 predicts the fertility transition in 1880-1905.
Subjects:Schooling
fertility transition
unified growth theory
19th-century Prussia
JEL:I20
J13
N33
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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