Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy:The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China
Many believe that increasing the quantity of children will lead to a decrease in their quality. This paper exploits plausibly exogenous changes in family size caused by relaxations in China's One Child Policy to estimate the causal effect of family size on school enrollment of the first child. The results show that for one-child families, an additional child significantly increased school enrollment of first-born children by approximately 16 percentage-points. The effect is larger for households where the children are of the same sex.
I thank Joshua Angrist, Daron Acemoglu, Abhijit Banerjee, Gary Becker, Esther Duflo, Oded Galor, Andrew Foster, Ashley Lester, Mark Rosenzweig and David Weil for their many insights; and participants at the MIT development lunch, BREAD and the Econometrics Society for useful comments. I am incredibly grateful to the China Health and Nutritional Survey at the University of North Carolina and the National Bureau of Statistics of China for sharing their data with me. All mistakes are my own. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.