Kamhon Kan, Myoung Jae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the impact of women's education on fertility. For identification, we use the 1968 compulsory education law change in Taiwan, which generated a regression discontinuity design (RDD) setting. We use the whole population of women from the 1980 and 2010 Population Censuses. Results of our RDD estimation using the exact date of birth suggest that the law change was effective in boosting women's education, but it did not have any impact on fertility. This is in stark contrast to most previous studies using only the birth year as the running variable or using it to construct instruments, which find that women's education depresses fertility. This study demonstrates that using a discrete running variable in RDD may generate a false discontinuity for an otherwise continuous regression function. (JEL J13, C21, I2).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-357
Number of pages15
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗We thank Thomas Lemieux, Arthur Lewbel, Michael Grossman, and participants of the 2012 Asian Conference on Applied Micro-Economics/Econometrics for comments and suggestions. We also thank Ruei-Hua Wang for able research assistance. Support provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology through grant 102-2410-H-001-002-MY3 to Kamhon Kan and Korea University through grant K1707591 to Myoung-Jae Lee is gratefully acknowledged. Kan: Professor, Academia Sinica, Institute of Economics, Taipei, 11529, Taiwan. Phone 886-2-2782-2791-505, Fax 886-2-2786-3947, E-mail Lee: Professor, Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, 2841, South Korea. Phone 82-2-3290-2229, Fax 82-2-926-3601, E-mail Economic Inquiry (ISSN 0095-2583) Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2018, 343–357

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Western Economic Association International

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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