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Empirically probing the quantity-quality model

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  • Emla Fitzsimons

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Bansi Malde

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Kent)

Abstract

This paper tests whether family size has a causal effect on girls' education in Mexico. It exploits son preference as the main source of random variation in the propensity to have more children, and estimates causal effects using instrumental variables. Overall, it finds no evidence of family size having an adverse effect on education, once the endogeneity of family size is accounted for. Results are robust to another commonly used instrument in this literature, the occurrence of twin births. A divisive concern throughout this literature is that the instruments are invalid, so that inferences including policy recommendations may be misleading. An important contribution of this paper is to allow for the possibility that the instruments are invalid and to provide an answer to the question of just how much the assumption of instrument exogeneity drives findings. It concludes that the assumption of exogeneity does not affect the results that much, and the effects of family size on girls' schooling remain extremely modest at most.

Suggested Citation

  • Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde, 2010. "Empirically probing the quantity-quality model," IFS Working Papers W10/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:10/20
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    5. Junsen Zhang, 2017. "The Evolution of China's One-Child Policy and Its Effects on Family Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 141-160, Winter.
    6. Binelli, Chiara & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2013. "The Returns to Private Education: Evidence from Mexico," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 198-215.
    7. Ea Hoppe Blaabæk & Mads Meier Jæger & Joseph Molitoris, 2020. "Family Size and Educational Attainment: Cousins, Contexts, and Compensation," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(3), pages 575-600, July.
    8. Shoji, Masahiro & Tsubota, Kenmei, 2022. "Sexual exploitation of trafficked children: Survey evidence from child sex workers in Bangladesh," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 101-117.
    9. Masahiro Shoji & Kenmei Tsubota, 2018. "Sexual Exploitation of Trafficked Children: Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers 175, JICA Research Institute.
    10. Sonia Bhalotra & Damian Clarke, 2016. "The Twin Instrument," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-38, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    11. Sonia Bhalotra & Damian Clarke, 2019. "Twin Birth and Maternal Condition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(5), pages 853-864, December.
    12. Haoming Liu & Li Li, 2022. "The quantity–quality fertility–education trade-off," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 143-143, March.
    13. Chiara Binelli, 2016. "Wage inequality and informality: evidence from Mexico," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    14. Christina J. Diaz & Jeremy E. Fiel, 2021. "When Size Matters: IV Estimates of Sibship Size on Educational Attainment in the U.S," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 40(6), pages 1195-1220, December.
    15. Li, Bingjing & Zhang, Hongliang, 2017. "Does population control lead to better child quality? Evidence from China’s one-child policy enforcement," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 246-260.
    16. Sonia Bhalotra & Damian Clarke, 2020. "The Twin Instrument: Fertility and Human Capital Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 3090-3139.
    17. Boonaert, Eva & Hoyweghen, Kaat Van & Feyisa, Ashenafi Duguma & Goos, Peter & Maertens, Miet, 2021. "Twofold Gendered Preferences in the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off Impact the Demographic Transition in Ethiopia," 2021 Conference, August 17-31, 2021, Virtual 315224, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    18. Azam Mehtabul & Hang Saing Chan, 2018. "Is There Really a Trade-Off? Family Size and Investment in Child Quality in India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-12, January.
    19. Guber, Raphael, 2018. "Instrument Validity Tests with Causal Trees: With an Application to the Same-sex Instrument," MEA discussion paper series 201805, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    20. Holford, Angus, 2015. "Youth employment and academic performance: production functions and policy effects," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    21. Loren Brandt & Aloysius Siow & Hui Wang, 2015. "Compensating for unequal parental investments in schooling," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 423-462, April.
    22. Damian Clarke, 2018. "Children And Their Parents: A Review Of Fertility And Causality," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 518-540, April.

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    More about this item

    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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