I measure the effect of child marriage bans on female educational attainment and employment using a difference-in-differences approach employing subnational spatial and cohort variation in a sample of over 250,000 female respondents from 17 low- and middle-income countries banning child marriage between 1995 and 2012. My results using the full study sample suggest that raising the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 increased age at marriage, age at first birth, and the likelihood of employment. In urban areas, the bans also reduced child marriage and increased educational attainment. Effects of the bans typically were smaller in rural areas, in countries with a lower pre-ban minimum legal age at marriage, for cohorts with lower temporal exposure to the ban, and for reducing marriage at ages just below 18, consistent with imperfect enforcement.
"Child Marriage Bans and Female Schooling and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Natural Experiments in 17 Low- and Middle-Income Countries."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Analysis of Education
Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Demographic Economics: Public Policy
Human Rights Law; Gender Law
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration