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The effects of school quality on fertility in a transition economy

Vasilaky, Kathryn (2011): The effects of school quality on fertility in a transition economy.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of school quality on fertility in a transition country. It aims to explain the slowing fertility and shrinking rural sector of a post Soviet country, Ukraine, through the decline in the quality of public services, in particular, school quality. It builds on earlier work of Rosenzweig (1982), which tests for the effects of a change in the price of child quality, measured here by school quality. Estimates from a generalized Poisson model of fertility show that school quality has a positive and significant effect on household fertility. Specifically, a 10 % increase in teacher quality is associated with a 3+% rise in fertility. This positive relationship between education and fertility distinguishes itself from the negative relationship that is commonly observed between these two factors. It also suggests that Ukraine should reconsider its population policies that are aimed at increasing fertility, from short term income transfers for rural families to long term investments into the quality and equality of their education system.

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