Original Paper

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 761-777

First online:

The effect of schooling on teenage childbearing: evidence using changes in compulsory education laws

  • Mary A. SillesAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway Email author 

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A strong negative correlation is often found between schooling and teenage childbearing. The question at the center of this research is whether this correlation represents a causal relation. This paper uses changes in compulsory schooling laws in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to purge schooling estimates of biases resulting from individual-specific error components correlated with education. The results suggest that increased schooling does appear to reduce the incidence of teenage childbearing. Moreover, the results serve to highlight an important change in the impact of schooling on teenage childbearing following the legislation on contraception in the late 1960s.


Education Childbearing Endogeneity bias

JEL Classification