The Relationship between Fertility and Children’s Education in Brazil: A Natural Experiment Using Twin Data

Ana P. Verona, University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this work is to assess the role of fertility or number of children in determining the investments in the children’s human capital in Brazil. The decline in fertility and the increase in children's and adolescents’ education observed during the last decades in Brazil suggest a potential trade-off between these two variables. The main contribution of this paper is to employ a natural experiment using twins’ data as a proxy for exogenous fertility. From it, it is possible to notice estimates of the exogenous fertility impact on the education of children. The results indicate primarily the existence of a trade-off between (exogenous) fertility and the education of children in Brazil. Secondly, it was found that this negative relation has lost strength or magnitude during the last fifteen years. Moreover, it is also seen that such trade-off is greater in situations deemed to be “unfavorable”.

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Presented in Session 64: Determinants of Educational Attainment