The effect of compulsory schooling laws and child labor restrictions on fertility: evidence from the early twentieth century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper uses census data to examine the impact of child labor restrictions imposed by compulsory schooling laws and child labor regulation on fertility. By exploiting variation induced by changes in legislation across time and between US states during the early twentieth century, I show that parents chose to have fewer children in response to the constraints imposed on the labor supply of their potential children and the increase in their expected quality. My findings suggest that compulsory schooling laws and child labor regulation contributed to the demographic transition in the US and provide additional empirical support for the notion that financial incentives play a role in determining household fertility decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-358
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jun 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank the editor, Oded Galor, and three anonymous referees for their helpful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Child labor
  • Compulsory schooling
  • Fertility

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of compulsory schooling laws and child labor restrictions on fertility: evidence from the early twentieth century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this