NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Female Schooling Reduce Fertility? Evidence from Nigeria

Una Okonkwo Osili, Bridget Terry Long

NBER Working Paper No. 13070
Issued in April 2007
NBER Program(s):   ED

The literature generally points to a negative relationship between female education and fertility. Citing this pattern, policymakers have advocated educating girls and young women as a means to reduce population growth and foster sustained economic and social welfare in developing countries. This paper tests whether the relationship between fertility and education is indeed causal by investigating the introduction of universal primary education in Nigeria. Exploiting differences by region and age, the paper uses differences-in-differences and instrumental variables to estimate the role of education in fertility. The analysis suggests that increasing education by one year reduces fertility by 0.26 births.

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Published: Osili, Una Okonkwo and B. T. Long. “Does Female Schooling Reduce Fertility? Evidence from Nigeria.” Journal of Development Economics 87, 1 (2008): 57‐75.

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