NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Lucia Breierova, Esther Duflo

NBER Working Paper No. 10513
Issued in May 2004
NBER Program(s):   ED   CH

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10513

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