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Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India

Author

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  • Adriana D. Kugler

    () (Georgetown University
    National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
    Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
    Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration (CReAM))

  • Santosh Kumar

    () (Sam Houston State University)

Abstract

Using data from nationally representative household surveys, we test whether Indian parents make trade-offs between the number of children and investments in education. To address the endogeneity due to the joint determination of quantity and quality of children, we instrument family size with the gender of the first child, which is plausibly random. Given a strong son preference in India, parents tend to have more children if the firstborn is a girl. Our instrumental variable results show that children from larger families have lower educational attainment and are less likely to be enrolled in school, with larger effects for rural, poorer, and low-caste families as well as for families with illiterate mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana D. Kugler & Santosh Kumar, 2017. "Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(3), pages 835-859, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0575-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0575-1
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    2. Isha Gupta, 2020. "Fertility And Mothers’ Labour Force Participation In Rural India," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0267, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    3. Marc Klemp & Jacob Weisdorf, 2019. "Fecundity, Fertility and The Formation of Human Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(618), pages 925-960.
    4. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien, 2019. "Adherence to cultural norms and economic incentives: Evidence from fertility timing decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 24-48.
    5. S Anukriti & Sungoh Kwon & Nishith Prakash, 2018. "Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India," Working papers 2018-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    6. Ea Hoppe Blaabæk & Mads Meier Jæger & Joseph Molitoris, 2020. "Family Size and Educational Attainment: Cousins, Contexts, and Compensation," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(3), pages 575-600, July.
    7. Björn Nilsson, 2019. "The School-to-Work Transition in Developing Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(5), pages 745-764, May.
    8. Ronald R. Kumar & Peter J. Stauvermann, 2019. "The Effects of a Revenue-Neutral Child Subsidy Tax Mechanism on Growth and GHG Emissions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(9), pages 1-23, May.
    9. Mehtabul Azam, 2016. "Private Tutoring: Evidence from India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 739-761, November.
    10. 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.
    11. Shuang Chen, 2020. "Parental Investment After the Birth of a Sibling: The Effect of Family Size in Low-Fertility China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(6), pages 2085-2111, December.
    12. Li, Honghui & Hiwatari, Masato, 2020. "Family Size and Educational Attainment : The Case of China," Discussion paper series. A 353, Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Hokkaido University.
    13. Fernihough, Alan, 2017. "Less is More? The child quantity-quality trade-off in early 20th century England and Wales," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2017-07, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    14. Wang, Qingfeng, 2018. "Son Preference and Human Capital," MPRA Paper 95411, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Aug 2019.
    15. Tanusree Mishra & Tanmoyee Banerjee (Chatterjee), 2020. "Child marriage: some facts from selected Indian states," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(3), pages 2093-2110.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Quantity-quality trade-off; Education; Family size; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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