Michael Grossman Publishes NBER Working Paper

March 7, 2014

Distinguished Professor Michael Grossman of the Ph.D. Program in Economics and coauthors Mehmet Alper Dinçer and Neeraj Kaushal published a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper, "Women's Education: Harbinger of Another Spring? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Turkey." Following Turkey's 1997 Education Law, which increased compulsory formal schooling from five to eight years, the authors studied the effect of women's education on a range of outcomes relating to women's fertility rates, their children's health, and measures of empowerment.
Economists argue that more educated individuals are more efficient producers of health and more educated parents are more efficient in producing healthy children. Education may also affect attitudes toward gender equality, empowering women. Because mothers are often the primary caregivers for infants and young children, their empowerment is likely to channel family resources toward mother and child well-being. Grossman and his colleagues found differences in the use of family planning methods, fertility rates, and perhaps child mortality, but little evidence of a change in attitudes toward gender equality among women with more schooling.

Coauthor Neeraj Kaushal has a Ph.D. in economics from the Graduate Center.