Abstract

This paper investigates the structure of the relationship between female education and fertility. It is based on data published in First Country Reports of the World Fertility Surveys for eleven countries—Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Fiji, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia. The cumulative marital fertility of educated women is shown to be similar in different settings. A lack of uniformity in the education and fertility relationship including the curvilinear nature of this relationship observed across countries is shown to be attributable to marked differences between countries in the average fertility of women with no education rather than to the presumed differences in the average fertility of the educated women. The structure of the relationship is shown to be similar across several developing countries. This analysis suggests that advancement in female education can be expected to influence fertility behavior even without simultaneous changes in other factors such as increasing opportunity for participation in the paid labor force in the modem sector.

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