NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Department of Economics
Mount Scopus Jerusalem Israel 91905
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2011||Mother's Schooling and Fertility under Low Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from a Natural Experiment|
with Victor Lavy: w16856
This paper studies the effect of mothers' education on fertility in a population with very low female labor force participation. The results we present are particularly relevant to many countries in the Muslim world where 70-80 percent of women are still out of the labor force. For identification we exploit the abrupt end of the military rule which greatly restricted the mobility of Arabs in Israel until the mid-1960's. This change improved access to schooling in communities that lacked schools and, as a consequence, significantly increased the education of affected cohorts, mainly of girls. The very large increase in schooling attainment triggered a sharp decline in completed fertility. We show that no other changes explain these findings and that the results are robust to checks against ...