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Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?

  • Åslund, Olof

    ()

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Grönqvist, Hans

    ()

    (Uppsala University)

Recent empirical work questions the negative relationship between family size and children’s attainments proposed by theoretical work and supported by a large empirical literature. We use twin births as an exogenous source of variation in family size in an unusually rich dataset where it is possible to separately look at intermediate and long run outcomes. We find little evidence of a causal effect on long term outcomes such as years of schooling and earnings, and studies that do not take selection effects into account are likely to overstate the effects. We do, however, find a small but significant negative impact of family size on grades in compulsory and secondary school.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2007:15.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2007_015
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  1. Lundhlom, M. & Ohlsson, H., 1998. "Who Takes Care of the Children? The Quantity-Quality Model Revisited," Papers 1998:23, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  2. 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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  5. Hirvonen, Lalaina, 2009. "The Effect of Children on Earnings Using Exogenous Variation in Family Size: Swedish Evidence," Working Paper Series 2/2009, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  6. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "Small family, smart family? Family size and the IQ scores of young men," Open Access publications 10197/739, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2009. "Do Population Control Policies Induce More Human Capital Investment? Twins, Birth Weight and China's "One-Child" Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1149-1174.
  10. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-77, June.
  11. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  12. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2010. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 130-139, January.
  13. Booth, Alison L. & Kee, Hiau Joo, 2005. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 1713, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. S Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Childrens Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0050, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  15. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2009. "Does child spacing affect children’s outcomes? Evidence from a Swedish reform," Working Paper Series 2009:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  17. Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2008. "The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  19. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
  20. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
  21. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 10281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Case, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-563.
  23. Gunnar Andersson & Jan M. Hoem & Ann-Zofie Duvander, 2005. "Social differentials in speed-premium effects in childbearing in Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-027, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  24. 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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