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The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey

Kirdar, Murat and Meltem, Dayioglu and Ismet, Koc (2016): The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey.

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Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of the extension of compulsory schooling from 5 to 8 years in Turkey—which increased women’s schooling by more than a year—on marriage and birth outcomes of teenage women, using regression discontinuity design, where we compare month-year of birth cohorts of all women. We find very strong incarceration effects of the new policy; the increased compulsory schooling years reduce the probability of teenage marriage by age 16 and first-births by age 17 substantially. However, these effects are short-lived; they dissapear after age 17 for marriage and after age 18 for first-births because the policy increases the marriage hazard rate at age 17, shortly after these women leave school, and there is no policy effect on the time to first-birth after marriage. These findings indicate either small or no human capital effects of the policy on marriage and first-birth decisions.

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