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Small Family, Smart Family? Family Size and the IQ Scores of Young Men

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  • Sandra E. Black
  • Paul J. Devereux
  • Kjell G. Salvanes

Abstract

This paper uses Norwegian data to estimate the effect of family size on IQ scores of men. Instrumental variables (IV) estimates using sex composition as an instrument show no significant negative effect of family size; however, IV estimates using twins imply that family size has a negative effect on IQ scores. Our results suggest that the effect of family size depends on the type of family-size intervention and that there are no important negative effects of expected increases in family size. However, unexpected shocks to family size resulting from twin births have negative effects on the IQ scores of existing children.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 45 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:i:1:p33-58

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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References

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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "Older and Wiser? Birth Order and IQ of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 13237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  3. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Educational Choice, Families, and Young People's Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-176.
  4. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
  5. Robert Kaestner, 1996. "Are Brothers Really Better? Sibling Sex Composition and Educational Achievement Revisited," NBER Working Papers 5521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
  9. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
  11. Joyce P. Jacobsen & James Wishart Pearce III & Joshua L. Rosenbloom, 1999. "The Effects of Childbearing on Married Women's Labor Supply and Earnings: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 449-474.
  12. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Deschenes, Olivier, 2002. "Estimating the Effects of Family Background on the Return to Schooling," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2qm3867s, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  16. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  17. repec:fth:calaec:10-02 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
  19. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," NBER Working Papers 6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano, 2006. "The Impacts of Family Size on Investment in Child Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  21. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 10281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Robert M. Hauser & Hsiang-Hui Daphne Kuo, 1998. "Does the Gender Composition of Sibships Affect Women's Educational Attainment?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 644-657.
  23. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Family Resources, Family Size, and Access to Financing for College Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 398-419, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 488-499, August.
  2. Kasey S. Buckles & Elizabeth L. Munnich, 2012. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 613-642.
  3. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2010. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 130-139, January.
  4. Baumgarten Skogstrøm, Jens Fredrik, 2012. "Entrepreneurial School Dropouts: A Model on Signalling, Education and Entrepreneurship," Memorandum 10/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2009. "Like father, like son? A note on the intergenerational transmission of IQ scores," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 138-140, October.
  6. Letícia Marteleto & Laetícia Souza, 2012. "The Changing Impact of Family Size on Adolescents’ Schooling: Assessing the Exogenous Variation in Fertility Using Twins in Brazil," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1453-1477, November.
  7. Solomon Tesfu & Shiferaw Gurmu, 2013. "Mother’s Gender Preferences and Child Schooling in Ethiopia," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(3), pages 265-277, September.
  8. Alma Cohen & Rajeev Dehejia & Dmitri Romanov, 2007. "Do Financial Incentives Affect Fertility?," NBER Working Papers 13700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marc Frenette, 2011. "Why do larger families reduce parental investments in child quality, but not child quality per se?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 523-537, December.
  10. Silles, Mary A., 2010. "The implications of family size and birth order for test scores and behavioral development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 795-803, October.
  11. Christoph T. Weiss, 2012. "Persistent Attitudes and Behaviors," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0143, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  12. Jose Maria Cabrera, 2011. "Fecundidad e Ingresos en Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1110, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
  13. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Li, Wanxin & Martinsson, Peter, 2014. "Subjective well-being among preadolescents and their parents – Evidence of intergenerational transmission of well-being from urban China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 11-18.
  14. Helena Holmlund & Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2013. "Meet the Parents? Family Size and the Geographic Proximity Between Adult Children and Older Mothers in Sweden," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 903-931, June.
  15. Kruk, Kai Eberhard & Reinhold, Steffen, 2014. "The effect of children on depression in old age," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-11.
  16. Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde, 2014. "Empirically probing the quantity–quality model," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 33-68, January.

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