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

Hongbin Li (), Junsen Zhang and Yi Zhu ()
Additional contact information
Yi Zhu: Michigan State University

No 3012, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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 Census, this paper examines the effect of family size on child educational attainment in China. We find a negative correlation between family size and child outcome, even after we control for the birth order effect. We then instrument family size by the exogenous variation that is induced by a twin birth, and find a negative effect of family size on children’s education. We also find that the effect of family size is more evident in rural China, where the public education system is poor. Given that our estimates of the effect of twinning on non-twins at least provide the lower bound of the true effect of family size (Rosenzweig and Zhang, 2006), these findings suggest a quantity-quality tradeoff of children in developing countries.

Keywords: quantity-quality tradeoff; twins; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J18 J24 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-dev, nep-edu and nep-sea
Date: 2007-08
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Journal Article: The quantity-Quality trade-Off of children In a developing country: Identification using chinese twins (2008) Downloads
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