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The quality–quantity trade-off: evidence from the relaxation of China’s one-child policy

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  • Haoming Liu

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Abstract

This paper uses the exogenous variation in fertility introduced by China’s family planning policies to identify the impact of child quantity on child quality. We find that the number of children has a significant negative effect on child height, which supports the quality–quantity trade-off theory. Our instrumental quantile regression approach shows that the impact varies considerably across the height distribution, particularly for boys. However, the trade-off is much weaker if quality is measured by educational attainments, suggesting that the measurement of child quality is also crucial in testing the quality–quantity trade-off theory. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Haoming Liu, 2014. "The quality–quantity trade-off: evidence from the relaxation of China’s one-child policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 565-602, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:2:p:565-602
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0478-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Goode, Alison & Mavromaras, Kostas & zhu, Rong, 2014. "Family income and child health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 152-165.
    2. Yao, Yuxin, 2017. "Essays on economics of language and family economics," Other publications TiSEM 0093bc8e-e869-4f87-8ff8-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Huang, Yue, 2015. "Does A Child Quantity-Quality Trade-Off Exist? Evidence from the One-Child Policy in China," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113215, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Junsen Zhang, 2017. "The Evolution of China's One-Child Policy and Its Effects on Family Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 141-160, Winter.
    5. Xiaobo He & Rong Zhu, 2016. "Fertility and Female Labour Force Participation: Causal Evidence from Urban China," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(5), pages 664-674, September.
    6. Chinhui Juhn & Yona Rubinstein & C. Andrew Zuppann, 2015. "The Quantity-Quality Trade-off and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills," NBER Working Papers 21824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2015. "The Effect of Family Size on Education: New Evidence from China's One Child Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 9196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Timothy J. Hatton, 2015. "Stature and Sibship: Historical Evidence," CEH Discussion Papers 039, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    9. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:219-224 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Liang, Yun & Gibson, John, 2018. "Do siblings take your food away? Using China's one-child policy to test for child quantity-quality trade-offs," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 14-26.
    11. Fujii, Tomoki & Shonchoy, Abu S. & Xu, Sijia, 2018. "Impact of Electrification on Children’s Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 315-330.
    12. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:287-303 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:67-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Tanya Byker & Italo A. Gutierrez, 2016. "Treatment Effects Using Inverse Probability Weighting and Contaminated Treatment Data An Application to the Evaluation of a Government Female Sterilization Campaign in Peru," Working Papers WR-1118-1, RAND Corporation.
    15. Chen, Yi & Huang, Yingfei, 2018. "The Power of the Government: China's Family Planning Leading. Group and the Fertility Decline since 1970," GLO Discussion Paper Series 204, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Haoming Liu, 2015. "The quantity–quality fertility–education trade-off," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 143-143, May.
    17. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:246-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Fei Wang & Liqiu Zhao & Zhong Zhao, 2017. "China’s family planning policies and their labor market consequences," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 31-68, January.
    19. Wang, Qingfeng & Sun, Xu, 2016. "The Role of Socio-political and Economic Factors in Fertility Decline: A Cross-country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 360-370.
    20. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Martinsson, Peter & Tu, Qin & Yang, Xiaojun, 2018. "Long-run effects of family policies: An experimental study of the Chinese one-child policy," Working Papers in Economics 732, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    21. Xing Li & M. W. Luke Chan & Byron G. Spencer & Wei Yang, 2016. "Does the marriage market sex ratio affect parental sex selection? Evidence from the Chinese census," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1063-1082, October.
    22. Yishen Liu & Yao Pan, 2016. "Less restrictive birth control, less education? Evidence from ethnic minorities in China," WIDER Working Paper Series 077, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    23. Mehtabul Azam & Chan Hang Saing, 2017. "Is there really a trade-off? Family Size and Investment in Child Quality in India," Economics Working Paper Series 1712, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; Fertility; Quantile regression; Quality–quantity trade-off; J13;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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