Are Children with Siblings Really More Vulnerable than Only Children in Health, Cognition and Non‐Cognitive Outcomes? Evidence from a Multi‐Province Dataset in China

15 Pages Posted: 18 May 2016

See all articles by Hua Zhou

Hua Zhou

Tong Ji University - School of Economics and Management

Di Mo

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) - LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance

Renfu Luo

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP)

Ai Yue

Northwest University (China)

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Date Written: May–June 2016

Abstract

The general goal of the present study is to analyze whether children with siblings lag behind their only‐child counterparts in terms of health and nutrition, cognition and educational performance, and non‐cognitive outcomes. We draw on a dataset containing 25 871 observations constructed from three school‐level surveys spanning four provinces in China. The analysis compares children with siblings and only children aged 9 to 14 years old in terms of eight different health, cognitive and non‐cognitive indicators. We find that with the exception of the anemia rate, health outcomes of children with siblings are statistically indistinguishable from those of only children. In terms of cognition, children with siblings performed better than only children. Moreover, outcomes of children with siblings are statistically indistinguishable from those of only children in terms of the non‐cognitive outcomes provided by measures of anxiety. According to our results, the same general findings are true regardless of whether the difference between children with and without siblings is disaggregated by gender.

Keywords: China, cognition, education, health status, nutrition, only children

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I20

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Hua and Mo, Di and Luo, Renfu and Yue, Ai and Rozelle, Scott, Are Children with Siblings Really More Vulnerable than Only Children in Health, Cognition and Non‐Cognitive Outcomes? Evidence from a Multi‐Province Dataset in China (May–June 2016). China & World Economy, Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 3-17, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2781272 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cwe.12155

Hua Zhou (Contact Author)

Tong Ji University - School of Economics and Management ( email )

1239 Si Ping Lu
Shanghai 200092
China

Di Mo

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) - LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Renfu Luo

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) ( email )

Building 917, Datun Road
Beijing 100101
China

Ai Yue

Northwest University (China) ( email )

229 Taibai North Rd
Beilin
Xian, Shaanxi
China

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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