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

41 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2007

See all articles by Hongbin Li

Hongbin Li

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Economics

Junsen Zhang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yi Zhu

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Date Written: August 2007

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

JEL Classification: J13, J18, J24, O10

Suggested Citation

Li, Hongbin and Zhang, Junsen and Zhu, Yi, The Quantity-Quality Tradeoff of Children in a Developing Country: Identification Using Chinese Twins (August 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1012801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1012801

Hongbin Li

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Economics ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong

Junsen Zhang (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Economics ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
852-2609-8186 (Phone)
852-2603-5805 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/eco/staff/jszhang/jzhang.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
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Yi Zhu

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ( email )

Social Science Division
HKUST
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong
(852) 2358-7837 (Phone)
(852) 2335-0014 (Fax)

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