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University of Stirling


Working Paper

Compulsory Education and Teenage Motherhood

Wilson T (2017) Compulsory Education and Teenage Motherhood. Stirling Economics Discussion Paper, 2017-01.

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.

Compulsory Schooling; Fertility; Regression Discontinuity Design; Teenage Motherhood

JEL codes
I21; J13

AuthorsWilson Tanya
Title of seriesStirling Economics Discussion Paper
Number in series2017-01
Publication date12/07/2017
Date of public distribution12/07/2017
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