Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 855–875 | Cite as

Sibling size and investment in children’s education: an asian instrument

  • Jungmin Lee


This study estimates the trade-off between child quantity and quality by exploiting exogenous variation in fertility under son preferences. Under son preferences, both sibling size and fertility timing are determined depending on the first child’s gender, which is random as long as parents do not abort girls at their first childbearing. For the sample South Korean households, I find strong evidence of unobserved heterogeneity in preferences for child quantity and quality across households. The trade-off is not as strong as observed cross-sectional relationships would suggest. However, even after controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, a greater number of siblings have adverse effects on per-child investment in education, in particular, when fertility is high.


Fertility Education Child quality 

JEL Classification

D13 J13 O12 



I would like to thank Daniel Hamermesh for his comments and guidance during this study. Also, I would like to thank the editor Junsen Zhang, anonymous referees, Steve Bronars, Robert Crosnoe, Gordon Dahl, Stephen Donald, Gerald Oettinger, Steve Trejo, and seminar participants at the University of Texas at Austin and at the 2003 annual meetings of the Society of Labor Economists.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Sam M. Walton College of BusinessUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)BonnGermany

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