Schooling and Cohort Size: Evidence from Vietnam, Thailand, Iran and Cambodia

Evangelos Falaris, University of Delaware
Thuan Thai, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In many developing countries the annual number of births has reached a peak in recent years and has declined since that time. We investigate how the schooling that individuals complete responds to the changes in the number of potential labor market competitors implied by changes in the annual number of births. We use census data from Vietnam, Thailand, Iran and Cambodia and document a similar pattern in all of them: holding other characteristics constant, individuals born during the upswing of the demographic cycle complete less schooling than individuals born during the downswing of the demographic cycle. This pattern is consistent with imperfect substitutability of workers with different amounts of work experience.

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Presented in Session 111: Interplay of Demographic Change, Public Policy, and Economic Outcomes in LDCs