Testing the quantity-quality model of fertility: Estimation using unrestricted family size models

Magne Mogstad, Matthew Wiswall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the relationship between child quantity and quality. Motivated by the theoretical ambiguity regarding the sign of the marginal effects of additional siblings on children's outcomes, our empirical model allows for an unrestricted relationship between family size and child outcomes. We find that the conclusion in Black, Devereux, and Salvanes (2005) of no family size effect does not hold after relaxing their linear specification in family size. We find nonzero effects of family size in ordinary least squares estimation with controls for confounding characteristics like birth order and in instrumental variables estimation instrumenting family size with twin births. Estimation using a unrestricted specification for the quality-quantity relationship yields substantial family size effects. This finding suggests that social policies that provide incentives for fertility should account for spillover effects on existing children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-192
Number of pages36
JournalQuantitative Economics
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Birth order
  • Family size
  • Instrumental variables
  • Nonlinearity
  • Quantity-quality model of fertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Testing the quantity-quality model of fertility: Estimation using unrestricted family size models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this