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Fertility Decline and Children's Education in Thailand: Some Macro and Micro Effects

Publication Abstract

Knodel, John E. "Fertility Decline and Children's Education in Thailand: Some Macro and Micro Effects." PSC Research Report No. 92-239. 6 1992.

The substantial decline in fertility in Thailand experienced over the last two to three decades appears to be having a beneficial effect for children's education at both the societal and the family level. By the 1980s, the fertility decline was already having a noticeable impact on the size of the school age population, with the primary school age group modestly decreasing in size and the secondary school age group leveling off. Pre-primary education has been extended by utilizing existing primary school facilities. Also, lower level secondary classes are being offered at an expanding number of the rural primary schools using existing facilities. At the family level, a substantial inverse association exists in Thailand between the number of children in the family and children's education. As fertility goes down, a far higher share of children come from small families, for whom the proportion continuing to secondary school is relatively high, and a far smaller share from large families, for whom the proportion continuing to secondary school is relatively low, than has been the case in the past. This in turn contributes to an increase in the proportion of children entering both the lower and upper levels of secondary school in Thailand. In this way, the micro effects reinforce the macro consequences of fertility decline on improving education of children.

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