The Impact of Schooling on the Timing of Marriage and Fertility: Evidence from a Change in Compulsory Schooling Law

Meltem Dayioglu, Middle East Technical University
Murat Kirdar, Middle East Technical University
Ismet Koc, Hacettepe University

This paper estimates the impact of schooling on the timing of marriage and early fertility using the 2003 Turkish Demographic and Health Survey and duration analysis methodology. The source of exogenous variation in schooling is the extension of compulsory schooling in Turkey in 1997. The findings indicate that at age 17, three years after the completion of compulsory schooling, the predicted probability of marriage drops from 15.2 to 10 % and the predicted probability of birth falls from 6.2 to 3.5 % as a result of the new policy. This implies that the impact of increased schooling on marriage and early fertility persists beyond the completion of compulsory schooling for an important duration. In addition, the delay in the timing of first birth is driven from the delay in the timing of marriage. After a woman is married, schooling does not have an effect on the duration until her first birth.

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Presented in Session 57: Contextual Influences on Fertility