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

  • Jeanne Lafortune
  • Soohyung Lee

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.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 365-69

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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Jonathan Morduch, 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 405-409, May.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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