Do Brothers and Sisters Take Resources Away From the Firstborn Child? Causal Evidence of Resource Dilution From China

Shuang Chen , Princeton University

The consequences of fertility decisions on child welfare in developing countries have long been of concern to scholars and policymakers, but most of our knowledge to date has been generated from high-fertility settings. This study is set in China during a period when fertility is sustained below the replacement level and high cost of education has fallen almost entirely on parents. The study examines whether having more siblings reduces parental investment received by the child, a key mechanism underlying the relationship between sibship size and educational attainment. Drawing on data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), the study uses detailed measures of parental investment which distinguish household-shared resources from child-specific resources, monetary from non-monetary resources. It also exploits the longitudinal nature of the survey to mediate the bias arising from the joint determination of family size and educational investment.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality