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“Fertility effect” or “supporting effect?”—Quantity of children and parental health

Abstract

Using the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, we try to identify the effect that quantity of children has on the health statuses of elderly parents. After dealing with a potential endogeneity problem using instrumental variable estimation, we find no significant long-arm “fertility effect,” but do find a positive “supporting effect” of the quantity of children on parental health. That is, giving birth to more children has no significant effect, but the availability of additional children in old age has a beneficial effect on health during that time. Further investigation yields a more significant effect on mothers than on fathers, and a more pronounced effect on cognitive health than on physical health, as measured by occurrences of hypertension.

摘要

使用中国健康长寿因素跟踪调查数据, 考察子女数量对于父母老年时期健康状况的影响。 在使用工具变量法解决潜在的内生性问题之后, 没有发现子女数量对父母健康有显著的长期持续的“生育效应”, 但发现其存在显著的“支持效应”, 即: 生育子女总数量的增加对老年健康没有显著影响, 但父母老年时期存活子女数量的增加对其健康有所改善。 进一步地研究发现, 上述效果对母亲的影响大于对父亲的影响; 对自评及心理健康的影响大于对以高血压发生率所衡量的身体健康的影响。

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Correspondence to Xiaoyan Lei.

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Chen, G., Lei, X. “Fertility effect” or “supporting effect?”—Quantity of children and parental health. Front. Econ. China 4, 601 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11459-009-0032-1

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Keywords

  • quantity of children
  • fertility effect
  • supporting effect
  • parental health

JEL Classification

  • J13
  • J14
  • I10

关键词

  • 子女数量
  • 生育效应
  • 支持效应
  • 父母健康