Research on the influence of bearing the second child on children’s education level

LI Xu1 TAO Zhengyu1

(1.School of Labor Economics, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing, China 100070)

【Abstract】Since the second-child policy was fully liberalized, we have not seen the expected birth peak. The existing literature mainly analyzes the reasons for the decline of fertility willingness from the aspects of education, income, family, and demographic characteristics, but ignores the important concern that people would be likely to lower their children’s education level after giving birth to a second child. In order to empirically test the impact of the second birth of the child on the education level of the child, empirical research is conducted based on the CFPS baseline survey data by using instrumental variable estimation methods. The results show that there is no statistically significant effect on the level of education of the second child. This conclusion is validated through a series of robustness tests. In the empirical analysis, through data reorganization, not only the sample size is expanded, but also the limitations of the former study including sibling living together are overcome, and the structural effects of the siblings are controlled. Compared with existing instrumental variables such as twins and one-child policy, using the gender of the first child as an instrumental variable helped to find that the first child for women significantly increases the likelihood of the n-th birth (n>2) , and it is evident that the gender of the first child is not influenced by human intervention. The results are more reliable in terms of internal effectiveness and external effectiveness and the conclusions drawn by the paper may expand the traditional resource dilution hypothesis from two aspects.

【Keywords】 second child bearing; sibling size; education level;


【Funds】 The National Social Science Fund of China (14BSH023) Scientific and Technological Innovation Academic Project of Graduate Student 2018 of Capital University of Economics and Business

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    [1]. ① Some scholars believe that the implementation of the two-child policy will only lead to the release of potential incremental birth after 3–5 years, but it will not have much influence at the initial stage. [^Back]

    [2]. ① Jungmin Lee (2008) used the gender of the first child to study the influence of the number of South Korean siblings on parents’ education expenditure. This paper used the idea of that paper for reference and analyzed this problem in Chinas situation for the first time by using the gender of the first child. [^Back]

    [3]. ① Calculation according to illiterate/semiliterate =0 year, primary school = 6 years, junior middle school = 9 years, senior high school/technical secondary school/technical school/secondary vocational technical school = 12 years, junior college = 15 years, bachelor = 16 years, master = 19 years, and doctor = 22 years. [^Back]

    [4]. ② The deleted twin samples account for less than 1% of the total sample, so the estimation result will not be influenced. [^Back]

    [5]. ① Due to space limitation, the relevant estimation results are not reported in this paper. [^Back]

    [6]. ② The sample size used in Table 6 is different from that previously analyzed. For research purposes, individuals younger than 25 years old and older than 80 years old have been deleted from the previous sample. In order to accurately calculate the gender ratio at birth, Table 6 includes all the samples. [^Back]

    [7]. ① China began to advocate the implementation of family planning in 1979. It was formally written into the Constitution in 1982 and implemented nationwide in 1983. As a matter of fact, family planning has been implemented in some regions of our country since 1979. According to the suggestion of Lei (2016), we took 1976 (the age of the interviewee in this paper is 34 years old) as the year when the family planning policy was implemented. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 22-1017/C

Vol 40, No. 06, Pages 20-30

November 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Explanation of data and variables
  • 3 Model setting and benchmark estimation
  • 4 Instrumental variable estimation and robustness test
  • 5 Conclusion and suggestion
  • Footnote