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Children's Socio-Emotional Skills: Is There a Quantity-Quality Trade-off?

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  • Simon Briole

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Hélène Le Forner

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Anthony Lepinteur

    (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])

Abstract

Though it is largely admitted that non-cognitive skills matter for adult outcomes, little is known about how the family environment affects their formation. In this paper, we use a cohort study of children born in 2000-2001 in the U.K. (Millennium Cohort Study) to estimate the effect of family size on socio-emotional skills, measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. To account for the endogeneity of fertility decisions, we use a well-known instrumental approach that exploits parents' preference for children's gender diversity. We show that an increase in family size negatively affects the socioemotional skills of the two first children in a persistent manner. However, we show that this negative effect is entirely driven by girls. We provide evidence that this gender effect is partly driven by an unequal response of parents' time investment in favor of boys and, to a lesser extent, to an unequal demand for household chores.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Briole & Hélène Le Forner & Anthony Lepinteur, 2019. "Children's Socio-Emotional Skills: Is There a Quantity-Quality Trade-off?," PSE Working Papers halshs-02331899, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-02331899
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-02331899
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    1. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi & Anthony Lepinteur & Giorgia Menta, 2021. "Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental-variable approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp1749, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Menta, Giorgia & Lepinteur, Anthony & Clark, Andrew E. & Ghislandi, Simone & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2023. "Maternal genetic risk for depression and child human capital," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    3. Hélène Le Forner, 2021. "Formation of Children's Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Skills: Is All Parental Time Equal?," Working Papers halshs-03160526, HAL.
    4. Breitkopf, Laura & Chowdhury, Shyamal K. & Priyam, Shambhavi & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Sutter, Matthias, 2020. "Do economic preferences of children predict behavior?," DICE Discussion Papers 342, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child development; Non-cognitive skills; Family Size; Birth Order;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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