Citation Wilson T (2017) Compulsory Education and Teenage Motherhood. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2017-01.
Abstract Can education policy reduce the incidence of teenage motherhood? This paper uses data from the largest UK household-level survey to investigate the impact of a change in legislation, which increased the duration of compulsory schooling, on the timing of fertility using a regression discontinuity design. The findings indicate strong evidence that the schooling reform induced a downwards impact on fertility not only at the new school-leaving age, but also exerted a non-monotonic effect throughout the teenage years. Overall the analysis suggests that the increase in mandatory education caused a postponement of fertility with the influence of the reform dissipating after age 20.