Abstract

In this chapter we portray the effects of female education and professional achievement on fertility decline in Spain over the period 1920-1980 (birth cohorts of 1900-1950). A longitudinal econometric approach is used to test the hypothesis that the effects of women's education in the revaluing of their time had a very significant influence on fertility decline. Although in the historical context presented here improvements in schooling were on a modest scale, they were continuous (with the interruption of the Civil War) and had a significant impact in shaping a model of low fertility in Spain. We also stress the relevance of this result in a context such as the Spanish for which liberal values were absent, fertility control practices were forbidden, and labour force participation of women was politically and socially constrained.