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The Effect of Overcrowded Housing on Childrens Performance at School

Author

Listed:
  • Dominique Goux

    (INSEE - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - INSEE, ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris)

  • Eric Maurin

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

Abstract

This paper provides estimates of the causal effect of living in an overcrowded home on performance at school in France. Our identification strategy relies on the fact that the size and housing conditions of families vary with the sex composition of the siblings. In particular, large families in which the two youngest children are (by descending age) a boy and a girl tend to live less often in overcrowded housing than the other families. French parents seem to be more reluctant about bringing up their children in the same room when they are not of the same sex, especially when the youngest one is a girl. We build on these results to develop several econometric analyses of the effect of overcrowding on schooling outcomes using variables describing the sex composition of the siblings as instrumental variables. These different strategies reveal that the very strong statistical relationship between housing conditions and academic failure is plausibly one of cause and effect. Children in large families perform much less well than children in small families, but our IV estimates suggest that this is mostly due to the fact that they live in more overcrowded homes.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2005. "The Effect of Overcrowded Housing on Childrens Performance at School," Post-Print halshs-00754080, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00754080
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2004.06.005
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754080
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School; Children; Overcrowded housing;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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