Fertility, Child Gender, and Parental Migration Decision: Evidence from One Child Policy in China

68 Pages Posted: 13 May 2019 Last revised: 20 Aug 2020

See all articles by Zibin Huang

Zibin Huang

Department of Economics, University of Rochester

Lin Lin

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Junsen Zhang

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

Date Written: April 21, 2019

Abstract

Previous studies usually use child gender-related variables as instruments for fertility choices in households. However if the child gender directly affect the outcome variable other than changing the number of children, the exclusion restriction will be violated. We propose a new semi-parametric method to solve this identification difficulty in the context of China's One Child Policy. Applying to the children's effects on parental migration decision, we find that the addition of one girl in the family will result in a 13.7% increase in the probability that both parents in rural households migrate to urban areas; whereas the addition of one boy will result in a 24.3% increase in this probability. It implies that the reduction in the number of children will hinder parental migration. Comparing to the traditional instrumental variable method, we find that without considering the effect of child gender, the traditional IV estimate of the fertility effect will be heavily downward biased, which may lead to an opposite policy implication.

Keywords: Fertility, Child gender, Parental migration, One Child Policy, Invalid instrumental variable, Semi-parametric model

JEL Classification: D19, J13, O15

Suggested Citation

Huang, Zibin and Lin, Lin and Zhang, Junsen, Fertility, Child Gender, and Parental Migration Decision: Evidence from One Child Policy in China (April 21, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3375122 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3375122

Zibin Huang (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Rochester ( email )

United States

Lin Lin

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Junsen Zhang

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

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