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Quantity-Quality Tradeoff of Children in a Developing Country, The: Identification Using Chinese Twins

Hongbin Li (), Junsen Zhang and Yi Zhu
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Yi Zhu: Stanford University

REAP Papers from Rural Education Action Project at Stanford University

Abstract: Testing the tradeoff between child quantity and quality within a family is complicated by the endogeneity of family size. Using data from the Chinese Population \r\nCensus, this paper examines the effect of family size on child educational attainment \r\nin China. We find a negative correlation between family size and child educational \r\nattainment, even after we control for the birth order effect. We then instrument family \r\nsize by the exogenous variation that is induced by a twin birth, and find a causal link \r\nbetween family size and children’s education. We also find that the effect of family \r\nsize is more evident in rural China, where the public education system is poor. These findings suggest a quantity-quality tradeoff of children in developing countries.

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