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New Evidence of the Causal Effect of Family Size on Child Quality in a Developing Country

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  • Vladimir Ponczek
  • Andre Portela Souza

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence of the causal effect of family size on child quality in a developing-country context. We estimate the impact of family size on child labor and educational outcomes among Brazilian children and young adults by exploring the exogenous variation of family size driven by the presence of twins in the family. Using the Brazilian Census data for 1991, we find that the exogenous increase in family size is positively related to labor force participation for boys and girls and to household chores for young women. We also find negative effects on educational outcomes for boys and girls and negative impacts on human capital formation for young female adults. Moreover, we obtain suggestive evidence that credit and time constraints faced by poor families may explain the findings.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 64-106

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:64-106

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  1. 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.
  2. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor & Schlosser, Analia, 2006. "New Evidence on the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 5668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev & Gatti, Roberta, 2005. "Why should we care about child labor? The education, labor market, and health consequences of child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3479, The World Bank.
  4. P. Deb & F. Rosati, 2004. "Estimating the effect of fertility decisions on child labour and schooling," UCW Working Paper 30, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  5. Patrick M. Emerson & Andr� Portela Souza, 2011. "Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 345 - 385.
  6. Nancy Qian, 2010. "Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy: The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China," Working Papers id:2558, eSocialSciences.
  7. 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).
  8. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2003. "The Effects of Overcrowded Housing on Children's Performance at School," CEPR Discussion Papers 3818, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Francine D. Blau & Adam J. Grossberg, 1990. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 3536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Jungmin Lee, 2008. "Sibling size and investment in children’s education: an asian instrument," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 855-875, October.
  12. Bedi, A.S. & Marshall, J.H., 2000. "Primary school attendance in Honduras," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19066, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  13. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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, .
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Cited by:
  1. Magnus Hatlebakk, 2012. "Son-preference, number of children, education and occupational choice in rural Nepal," CMI Working Papers 8, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  2. Christelle Dumas & Arnaud Lefranc, 2013. ""Sex in marriage is a divine gift": For whom ? Evidence from the Manila contraceptive ban," Working Papers hal-00867874, HAL.
  3. Dang, Hai-Anh & Rogers, Halsey, 2013. "The decision to invest in child quality over quantity : household size and household investment in education in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6487, The World Bank.
  4. Emerson, Patrick M. & Ponczek, Vladimir P. & Souza, André Portela, 2013. "Child labor and learning," Textos para discussão 335, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  5. 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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