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Is There Really a Trade-Off? Family Size and Investment in Child Quality in India

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  • Azam Mehtabul

    () (Department of Economics, Oklahoma State University & IZA, 326 Business Building, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, USA.)

  • Hang Saing Chan

    (Cambodia Development Resource Institute, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Abstract

We address the relationship between number of children and investment in child quality, known as quantity–quality (Q–Q) trade-off, for India. Using a number of investment and outcome measures, we find that the OLS estimates suggest the presence of Q–Q trade-offs in nine out of ten measures considered. Using the gender of the first-born child as an instrument, the trade-offs in all measures disappear. Given the concerns about the exogeneity of the instrument, we apply Oster (2016) bounds to assess the sensitivity of OLS estimates to omitted variables. We find robust trade-off estimates in three measures currently enrolled in school, years of schooling and height-for-age. The results are more robust when observing trade-offs in rural areas. Trade-offs appear in ever enrolled in school, private school attendance, expenditure on education and private coaching in addition to the trade-offs in the three measures for all India sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Azam Mehtabul & Hang Saing Chan, 2018. "Is There Really a Trade-Off? Family Size and Investment in Child Quality in India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-12, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:18:y:2018:i:1:p:12:n:6
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Fecundity, Fertility and The Formation of Human Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 925-960.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    quantity–quality trade-off; investment; educational outcomes; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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