Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 503–536 | Cite as

The impact of school entry laws on female education and teenage fertility

Original Paper


The literature on school entry laws in the USA suggests that school entry laws affect educational success in offsetting ways, where students born after the entry cutoff date tend to achieve higher test scores yet complete fewer years of schooling. However, the laws have little impact on a number of other outcomes, including fertility, wages, and employment. This paper has two goals. First, using a North Carolina dataset which individually links birth certificate data to school administrative records, it more fully explores the opposite impacts on educational success than previous papers and investigates why students born after the cutoff date have lower educational attainment despite doing better in school. Second, it investigates the impact of school entry laws on teenage fertility and provides some evidence that test scores and years of education have negative impacts, but that these impacts offset each other in the case of school entry laws.


Education Teenage fertility Quasi-experimental Season of birth 

JEL classification

J13 J18 J24 



This project is supported by funding from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. I thank Philip J. Cook, M. Giovanna Merli, S. Philip Morgan, and Seth G. Sanders for their helpful comments. I also thank the anonymous reviewers for the Journal of Population Economics for their helpful comments and suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lee Kuan Yew School of Public PolicyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeUSA

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