Education, marriage and first conception in Malaysia

by Michael Brien, Lee A. Lillard

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This paper examines cohort and ethnic differences in education, the timing of marriage, and the timing of first birth for women in Peninsular Malaysia. The authors examine the roles of education and enrollment in delaying marriage and first conception and the role of marriage in delayed first conception and dropping out of school. They focus on the joint nature of these decisions by controlling for the endogeneity of one outcome as it affects the others. Changes in education and enrollment account for a substantial portion of the cohort trend toward later marriage in Malaysia. Further, most of the rise in the age at first conception across cohorts and ethnic groups is fully accounted for by cohort and ethnic differences in the age at marriage.

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