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Analyzing the causal impact of higher education on fertility and potential mechanisms : Evidence from regression Kink designs

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  • Analyzing the causal impact of higher education on fertility and potential mechanisms
  • Sohn, Hosung
  • Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs


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Title Analyzing the causal impact of higher education on fertility and potential mechanisms
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Evidence from regression Kink designs

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Sohn, Hosung

Publisher

[Sejong, Korea] : Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs

Date 2017-12
Series Title; No Research Paper / 2017-01
ISBN 978-89-6827-353-7
Pages 93
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Health
Social Development < Education
Holding Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs
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Abstract

Little is known about what causes fertility level to go down. One factor that has been speculated to reduce fertility level is education. Theoretical arguments regarding the relationship between education and fertility are not unanimous as to whether education increases or decreases fertility. Consequently, this research question is a matter of empirical investigation. This research, therefore, tests this hypothesis by analyzing the “causal” impact of higher education on fertility using the census data (2%) administered by Statistics Korea. In order to account for the endogeneity issue inherent in the higher education variable, this study exploits higher education reform initiated in 1993 that boosted one’s likelihood of entering college with the assumption that this reform is plausibly exogenous. Based on regression kink designs, I find that college degree reduces the likelihood of childbirths by 0.228 and the total number of childbirths by 1.32. Analyses of possible mechanisms show that one significant channel that drives the negative effects is through labor markets; female college graduates are more likely to be a wage earner and more likely to have pro fessional occupations. I argue, therefore, that government policies should be directed more toward reducing opportunity costs of fertility induced by the increase in earning capacity.