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Family size effects on childhood obesity: Evidence on the quantity-quality trade-off using the NLSY

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  • Dasgupta, Kabir
  • Solomon, Keisha T.

Abstract

In this study, we use matched mother-child data from the National Longitudinal Surveys to study the effects of family size on child health. Focusing on excess body weight indicators as children’s health outcome of interest, we examine the effects of exogenous variations in family size generated by twin births and parental preference for mixed sex composition of their children. We find no significant empirical support in favor of the quantity-quality trade-off theory in instrumental variable regression analysis. This result is further substantiated when we make use of the panel aspects of the data to study child health outcomes of arrival of younger siblings at later parities. Specifically, when we employ child fixed effects analysis, results suggest that birth of a younger sibling is related to a decline in the likelihood of being overweight by 4 percentage points and a drop in the probability of illness by approximately 5 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Dasgupta, Kabir & Solomon, Keisha T., 2018. "Family size effects on childhood obesity: Evidence on the quantity-quality trade-off using the NLSY," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 42-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:42-55
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2018.01.004
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    4. David Mmopelwa, 2019. "Household size, birth order and child health in Botswana," Discussion Papers 2019-10, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family size; Children; Overweight; Obesity; Instrumental variables; Fixed effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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