A new paper published in the Journal of Population Economics finds that raising the school leaving age can be effective in reducing the incidence of teenage pregnancy among socially excluded women, even if it does not affect the general population. An important policy implication is the potentially heterogeneous impact of educational interventions across different ethnic groups.
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Books or babies? The incapacitation effect of schooling on minority women
Anna Adamecz-Völgyi & Ágota Scharle
Journal of Population Economics (2020) 33, Issue 4: 1219-1261
Author Abstract: This paper examines the effects of an increase in the compulsory school leaving age on the teenage fertility of Roma women, a disadvantaged ethnic minority in Hungary. We use a regression discontinuity design identification strategy and show that the reform decreased the probability of teenage motherhood among Roma women by 13.4–26.0% and delayed motherhood by 2 years. We separate the incapacitation and human capital effects of education on fertility by exploiting a database that covers live births, miscarriages, abortions, and still births and contains information on the time of conception. We find that longer schooling decreases the probability of getting pregnant during the school year but not during summer and Christmas breaks, which suggests that the estimated effects are generated mostly through the incapacitation channel.
The paper has been GLO Discussion Paper No. 474, 2020.
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