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Academic Programs

Jessica Min and Peng Wang will be presenting in person. Viewers may also attend via Zoom.

3rd year graduate students present for 30 minutes each.

“The Value of Local Infrastructure Investments: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Municipal Bond Elections” – Jessica Min

“The Causal Effect of Maternal Education on Fertility Desire: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from China’s Compulsory Schooling Law” – Peng Wang


Declining maternal fertility desire has been recognized as a key factor in understanding China’s sharp drop in realized fertility. Using results from a nationally representative survey, this paper presents the first causal evidence on the relationship between maternal education and fertility desire in China. Our triple-difference strategy exploits the staggered implementation and disparate enforcement intensity of China’s Compulsory Schooling Law (CSL) in urban and rural areas. We find that CSL promotes maternal education but decreases the fertility desire of the affected cohorts. Our instrumental variable estimate further gauges that one additional year of education would decrease a woman’s fertility desire by 0.28. We present evidence consistent with the popular argument that higher maternal education raises the opportunity costs of childbearing and induces the quantity-quality tradeoff. Our findings help to explain why China’s recent policy of relaxing birth control fails to achieve its desired effect on realized fertility.