The effect of investment in children's education on fertility in 1816 Prussia

Sascha O. Becker, Francesco Cinnirella, Ludger Woessmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The interaction between investment in children's education and parental fertility is crucial in recent theories of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern economic growth. This paper contributes to the literature on the child quantity-quality trade-off with new county-level evidence for Prussia in 1816, several decades before the demographic transition. We find a significant negative causal effect of education on fertility, which is robust to accounting for spatial autocorrelation. The causal effect of education is identified through exogenous variation in enrollment rates due to differences in landownership inequality. A comparison with estimates for 1849 suggests that the preference for quality relative to quantity might have increased during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalCliometrica
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 19th century
  • Education
  • Fertility
  • Prussia
  • Quantity-quality trade-off
  • Unified growth theory

Cite this

Becker, Sascha O. ; Cinnirella, Francesco ; Woessmann, Ludger. / The effect of investment in children's education on fertility in 1816 Prussia. In: Cliometrica. 2012 ; Vol. 6, No. 1. pp. 29-44.
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The effect of investment in children's education on fertility in 1816 Prussia. / Becker, Sascha O.; Cinnirella, Francesco; Woessmann, Ludger.

In: Cliometrica, Vol. 6, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 29-44.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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