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Family size and children quality: New evidence and new exogenous shocks in the case of Colombian Households

  • Román David Zárate


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    The interaction between family size and children quality has been a recurring topicin the economics of family. However, there is scarce evidence in Latin America, and the literature has not yet explored new mechanisms to explain either positive or null effects of an additional sibling found by different authors in the last ten years. This article addresses these two issues. On the one hand, I construct a simple theoretical model which rationalizes negative and positive effects of an additional sibling due to family interactions. On the other hand, I estimate the effect of family size in Colombia on school lag, school attendance, school dropout and child labor. I use data from the Demographic and Health survey and construct a set of instruments based on the report of the ideal number of children. The novelty of the instruments lies in that unlike most articles which can only estimate the effect from two siblings onwards, I can estimate the effect of a first sibling. I find that for first (second) born children a first (second) sibling generates null or positive effects on the four outcomes but there are negative effects from two (three) siblings onwards on the four outcomes.

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    Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 010588.

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    Length: 44
    Date of creation: 27 Feb 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:col:000089:010588
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    1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Mogstad, Magne & Wiswall, Matthew, 2009. "How Much Should We Trust Linear Instrumental Variables Estimators? An Application to Family Size and Children's Education," IZA Discussion Papers 4562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    7. James J. Heckman & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 1985. "A Simultaneous Equations Linear Probability Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(1), pages 28-37, February.
    8. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, June.
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    10. Iacovou, Maria, 2001. "Family composition and children's educational outcomes," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-12, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    11. Daniel Mejía & Marc St-Pierre, 2007. "Human capital formation, inequality, and competition for jobs," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 004105, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    12. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    13. Liliana E. Pezzin & Barbara Steinberg Schone, 1999. "Intergenerational Household Formation, Female Labor Supply and Informal Caregiving: A Bargaining Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 475-503.
    14. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
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    16. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S121-45, July.
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