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Unpublished Paper
Access to secondary school and teenage childbearing (UPDATED 2018)
University of Leicester working paper series (2016)
  • Jesse A Matheson
  • Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner

Does improving education opportunities influence childbearing decisions for young women? We examine a novel dataset reflecting the vast expansion of secondary education in Brazil between 1997 and 2010. Using variation in the introduction of schools across 4,849 municipalities to instrument for school enrolment, we find that for every student enrolled there are 0.149 fewer teenage births (4.59% relative to the mean). This estimate implies that Brazil’s secondary school expansion accounts for 23% of the substantial decline in teenage childbearing observed over the same period. Exploiting heterogeneity in population characteristics across municipalities, we
provide new evidence on the mechanisms underlying the education-fertility relationship. This includes a previously undocumented mechanism whereby schools coordinate interactions between young men and women.

  • Secondary education,
  • Teenage pregnancy,
  • Brazil
Publication Date
Updated January 2018.
Citation Information
Jesse A Matheson and Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner. "Access to secondary school and teenage childbearing (UPDATED 2018)" University of Leicester working paper series (2016)
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