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Testing the Children Quantity-Quality Trade-Off in India

  • Kumar, Santosh
  • Kugler, Adriana

Using data from a representative sample from India, we test the empirical validity of Quantity-Quality tarde-off model of Becker and Lewis (1973). To address the endogeneity arising from the joint determination of quantity and quality of children by parents, we instrument the family size by sex of the first child. We find a negative relationship between family size and children's educational attainment, even after controlling for parent's characteristics and birth order of children. The effects are heterogeneous. The trade-o is more pronounced in rural areas, for low-caste children, for illiterate mothers, and for children belonging to low wealth category. Overall, the findings support the quantity-quality trade-o in a resource poor setting such as India. Given that for long-run economic development, the quality of human capital is equally important, policymakers should invest more in education and other welfare programs in order to mitigate the adverse impacts of the trade-off.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 42487.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42487
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  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
  2. Peter J. Glick & Alessandra Marini & David E. Sahn, 2007. "Estimating the Consequences of Unintended Fertility for Child Health and Education in Romania: An Analysis Using Twins Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 667-691, October.
  3. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2005. "The effect of overcrowded housing on children's performance at school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 797-819, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
  6. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano, 2006. "The Impacts of Family Size on Investment in Child Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
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