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A novel way of measuring the endowment effect of gaining a child


  • Stella Quimbo

    (University of the Philippines School of Economics)

  • Xylee Javier

    (University of the Philippines School of Economics)

  • Joseph Capuno

    (University of the Philippines School of Economics)

  • Emmanuel de Dios

    (University of the Philippines School of Economics)


We test, using national survey data on Filipino women, whether stated fertility preferences are stable and, thus, reliable measures of choice. We compare the expressed ideal number of children of two groups of matched women with that of another group having arguably more stable preferences. Using propensity score matching, we find that the stated ideal number of children is significantly higher than the control group with presumed stable preferences, by about 1 child among the poor and among older women. This difference suggest instability in fertility preferences, which may be due to moving fertility targets, cognitive dissonance or anomalous choice behavior arising from status-quo bias, or endowment effects, with the prohibitive cost of “giving up” additional children causing an upward adjustment of fertility targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Stella Quimbo & Xylee Javier & Joseph Capuno & Emmanuel de Dios, 2016. "A novel way of measuring the endowment effect of gaining a child," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 53(1), pages 56-71, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:phs:prejrn:v:53:y:2016:i:1:p:56-71

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    More about this item


    fertility preferences; endowment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation


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