IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/spr/stechp/978-3-319-99480-2_4.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

A Critical Introduction to Instrumental Variables for Sibship Size Based on Twin Births

In: Cliometrics of the Family

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Öberg

    (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

Research on how children are affected by their sibship size, i.e., their number of siblings, faces a serious hurdle because sibship size is endogenous in the model. The current “gold standard” method to solve this is to use (parity-specific) twin births as instrumental variables. The purpose of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, it introduces instrumental variable methods in general. Secondly, it argues that we need to update our interpretation of instrumental variables for sibship size based on twin births. The essence of my new interpretation is that only some twin births lead to an exogenous increase of the number of children. This seemingly minor update of the interpretation highlights some previously overlooked necessary assumptions. Most importantly it shows how the method is intrinsically linked to fertility preferences and how assumptions regarding unintended pregnancies are crucial for identification. We need to assume that families have a fixed desired number of children. We also need to assume either that there are no unintended pregnancies or that parents who have an “unwanted” child through single births are no different from parents who have an “unwanted” child as the result of a twin birth. My introduction therefore contributes to the mounting critique of using twin births as instrumental variables for sibship size. We need to re-evaluate this current “gold standard” method and possibly reinterpret previous results using it.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Öberg, 2019. "A Critical Introduction to Instrumental Variables for Sibship Size Based on Twin Births," Studies in Economic History, in: Claude Diebolt & Auke Rijpma & Sarah Carmichael & Selin Dilli & Charlotte Störmer (ed.), Cliometrics of the Family, chapter 0, pages 55-82, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:stechp:978-3-319-99480-2_4
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-99480-2_4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Twins; Family size; Exogenous variation; Causal estimation; Quantity–quality trade-off; Natural experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:stechp:978-3-319-99480-2_4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.