The first paper of my dissertation provides an empirical test of the quantity and quality trade-off of children within a household. I use China census data in 1982, 1990 and 2000 and exploit the geographic and time variation in the initiation of fertility policies as an exogenous source in generating the number of older and young children a mother has in the household. I find a substantial difference in the reduction in the number of older and young children within a household across provinces. I find that OLS results overstate the effect of the number of children on education at both the high school level and the college level. 2SLS results suggest that the reduction in the number of older siblings increases the college enrollment rate of children 16 to 21 years of age over the period 1990-2000, but the effect is not significantly different from zero in the period 1982-1990.
The second paper investigates the effect of the reduction in the young cohort size caused by Chinese fertility policies on the educational upgrading among older cohorts born before the policies. I show that fertility polices reduce the size of the young cohort and increase their educational levels. Through imperfect substitutability of workers with the same education but different ages, the incentives for older adults to acquire more education increase. Empirically, I examine the changes in the size of the young cohort aged 16-24 caused by policies initiated in 1964 with both geographic and time variation. I find heterogeneous effects on the educational upgrading of older cohorts. A one percent decrease in the young cohort size increases the number of college graduates aged 25-49 by 70 to 100 persons within a birth cohort during 1982-1990, which is about 1.4 to 2 percent of the national average number of college graduates in 1982. The decrease in the young cohort size does not have a significant effect on the number of college graduates during 1990-2000.
"Fertility Policies and Human Capital Investment in China"
Economics Theses and Dissertations.
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