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All for One? Family Size and Children's Educational Distribution under Credit Constraints

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  • Jeanne Lafortune
  • Soohyung Lee

Abstract

This paper examines the possibility that a child's years of schooling could increase in the number of siblings, instead of being diminished by competition for parents' resources: if unable to finance the education of their younger children, parents may do so through their older children's labor income. We examine this possibility in a model combining convex returns to education and credit constraints. Our model predicts correlations among family size, years of schooling and birth order, which would not exist when either of these two elements is absent. Empirical patterns shown in the United States, Mexico, and South Korea support the model predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanne Lafortune & Soohyung Lee, 2014. "All for One? Family Size and Children's Educational Distribution under Credit Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 365-369, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:365-69
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.365
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tom S. Vogl, 2013. "Marriage Institutions and Sibling Competition: Evidence from South Asia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1017-1072.
    2. Michel Tenikue & Bertrand Verheyden, 2010. "Birth Order and Schooling: Theory and Evidence from Twelve Sub-Saharan Countries," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(4), pages 459-495, August.
    3. Raut, Lakshmi K. & Tran, Lien H., 2005. "Parental human capital investment and old-age transfers from children: Is it a loan contract or reciprocity for Indonesian families?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 389-414, August.
    4. Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 405-409, May.
    5. 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. Stacey H. Chen & Yen-Chien Chen & Jin-Tan Liu, 2014. "The Impact of Family Composition on Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 20443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pauline Morault, 2017. "Arranged Marriages under Transferable Utilities," Working Papers halshs-01537971, HAL.
    3. Tien Manh Vu & Hisakazu Matsushige, 2016. "Gender, Sibling Order, and Differences in the Quantity and Quality of Education: Evidence from Japanese Twins," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 147-170, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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