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Lucky to have a sister: The effects of unmarried sister on brother outcomes in late imperial China

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  • Ding, Feng
  • Du, Limin
  • Shi, Jinchuan

Abstract

This paper addresses the family free-rider problem by investigating the effects of unmarried sisters on brothers' outcomes based on historical population register data from the China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset-Liaoning (CMGPD-LN). The results show that the presence of an unmarried sister increases the probability of her brother to have another birth / obtain an official student title. An unmarried sister represents a family public good provider since she is a temporary member, and a self-interested brother has economic motivations to compete for and free ride on his sister's unpaid housework. This paper provides an economic explanation rooted in an individual motivation that may help us to further understand the impacts of family structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Feng & Du, Limin & Shi, Jinchuan, 2020. "Lucky to have a sister: The effects of unmarried sister on brother outcomes in late imperial China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:64:y:2020:i:c:s1043951x20301413
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2020.101544
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unmarried sister; Brother; Fertility outcome; Free-rider problem; Co-residential family;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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