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The quality–quantity trade-off: evidence from the relaxation of China’s one-child policy

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  • Haoming Liu

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    Abstract

    This paper uses the exogenous variation in fertility introduced by China’s family planning policies to identify the impact of child quantity on child quality. We find that the number of children has a significant negative effect on child height, which supports the quality–quantity trade-off theory. Our instrumental quantile regression approach shows that the impact varies considerably across the height distribution, particularly for boys. However, the trade-off is much weaker if quality is measured by educational attainments, suggesting that the measurement of child quality is also crucial in testing the quality–quantity trade-off theory. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 565-602

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:2:p:565-602

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    Related research

    Keywords: Education; Fertility; Quantile regression; Quality–quantity trade-off; J13;

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    1. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
    2. Lee, Jungmin, 2004. "Sibling Size and Investment in Children's Education: An Asian Instrument," IZA Discussion Papers 1323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Parish, W.L. & Willis, R.J., 1992. "Daughters, Education, and Family Budgets: Taiwan Experiences," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    4. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2008. "Instrumental variable quantile regression: A robust inference approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 379-398, January.
    5. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2006. "Parental Educational Investment and Children’s Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variation in Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    6. Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2005. "An IV Model of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 245-261, 01.
    7. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Zhang, Junsen, 2006. "Do Population Control Policies Induce More Human Capital Investment? Twins, Birthweight, and China's 'One Child' Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2082, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Thomas, D., 1995. "Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Parental Resources and Child Height," Papers 95-01, RAND - Reprint Series.
    10. Li, Hongbin & Zhang, Junsen & Zhu, Yi, 2007. "The Quantity-Quality Tradeoff of Children in a Developing Country: Identification Using Chinese Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 3012, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Do High Birth Rates Hamper Economic Growth?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 110-117, February.
    12. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
    13. John Shea, 1997. "Does Parents' Money Matter?," NBER Working Papers 6026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Xiaoyu Wu & Lixing Li, 2012. "Family size and maternal health: evidence from the One-Child policy in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1341-1364, October.
    15. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2006. "Instrumental quantile regression inference for structural and treatment effect models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 491-525, June.
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