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The Effect of Family Size on Education: New Evidence from China's One-Child Policy

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  • Laura M. ARGYS

    (University of Colorado Denver and IZA)

  • Susan L. AVERETT

    (Lafayette College and IZA)

Abstract

Economists theorize that the inverse relationship between income and family size reflects a trade-off between child quality and quantity. Testing this hypothesis requires addressing the simultaneity of the quality and quantity decisions. The unanticipated birth of twins and sex composition of the first two children have been used as the exogenous variation in family size with mixed results. We exploit the One-Child Policy (OCP) in China, which exogenously reduced fertility, and examine how the OCP affected the education of Chinese migrants to the USA. Using the American Community Survey and a difference-in-differences strategy, we find higher levels of education for Chinese migrants born after the OCP compared with their counterparts from other East Asian countries. This finding provides additional support for the existence of a quality-quantity trade-off.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura M. ARGYS & Susan L. AVERETT, 2019. "The Effect of Family Size on Education: New Evidence from China's One-Child Policy," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 21-42, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvde:v:85:y:2019:i:1:p:21-42
    DOI: 10.1017/dem.2018.22
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/dem.2018.22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xiong, Feng & Zang, Leizhen & Zhou, Ling & Liu, Fei, 2020. "The effect of number of siblings and birth order on educational attainment: Empirical Evidence from Chinese General Social Survey," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    2. Lu, Di, 2018. "China’s Selective Two-Child Policy and Its Impact on the Marriage Market," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181586, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Education; Migrants; One-child policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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