How does education lower the demand for children?

It doesn’t always, but sometimes it does and here are some reasons why:

Caldwell identifies five mechanisms by which education reduces fertility by reshaping the economic relationship of parents and children. First, education reduces the ability of a child to work inside and outside the home – not just because school and studying take up time, but also because the child’s student status makes others reluctant to enforce traditional duties. Second, education increases the expense of raising a child, again not just because school is expensive, but because education increases a child’s demands on his parents for non-school expenses in a manner Caldwell describes as unprecedented. Third, education increases the dependency of children, reframing a formerly hard-working, productive child as primarily a producer and citizen. Fourth, schooling speeds up cultural change and creates new cultures. Finally, fifth, in the developing world education specifically transmits the values of the Western middle class, which is contemptuous of traditional “family morality” as described above.

That is from The View from Hell, via bullet-biting Ben Southwood on Twitter.

Not surprisingly, that is a post from the UK.  And if you’re wondering, there is a discussion involving the word “women” later in the post.


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