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Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children

  • Gary S. Becker
  • Nigel Tomes

This paper brings together and integrates social interactions and the special relation between quantity and quality. We are able to show that the observed quality income elasticity would be relatively high and the quantity elasticity relatively low and sometimes negative, even if the true "unobserved� income elasticities for quantity and quality were equal and of average value. Moreover, the observed quality elasticity would fall, and the observed quantity elasticity would rise, as parental income rose.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0123.

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Date of creation: Feb 1976
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Becker, Gary S. and Nigel Tomes. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity of Children." Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 84, No. 4, part 2, (August 1976) , pp. S143-S162.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0123
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  1. Pollak, Robert A & Wachter, Michael L, 1975. "The Relevance of the Household Production Function and Its Implications for the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 255-77, April.
  2. Chamberlain, Gary & Griliches, Zvi, 1975. "Unobservables with a Variance-Components Structure: Ability, Schooling, and the Economic Success of Brothers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 422-49, June.
  3. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  5. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
  6. 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, .
  7. Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S219-S51, Part II, .
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