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Family size, birth order and educational attainment: Evidence from China

Qian Weng, Xia Gao, Haoran He and Shi Li

China Economic Review, 2019, vol. 57, issue C

Abstract: Using Chinese Household Income Project survey data from 2013, this paper investigates the effects of family size and birth order on children's educational attainment. The endogeneity of family size is an important identification issue in the test of the quantity-quality tradeoff. We use variations in a mother's exposure to various phases of China's family planning policies by Hukou type, ethnicity and regional differences in fine rates as instruments to identify the causal effects of family size. We find that family size has a negative effect on children's education. Using family fixed effects model, we find a positive birth order effect. In addition, both the family size and birth order effects are more pronounced for families where first-born children are females than those where the first-borns are males. Birth order effect is more evident in financially constrained families.

Keywords: Education; Family planning; Quantity-quality tradeoff; Birth order (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 J13 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2019.101346

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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