Child Quality and the Demand for Children.

by Dennis N. De Tray


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Theoretical and empirical investigation of economic determinants of desired family size, in which child quality and numbers of children are substitutes in production of the household commodity "child services." Derived demand equations are developed for numbers of children and quality per child and are estimated using regression techniques and data from a 1960 cross-sectional sample of U.S. counties. Tentatively, female earnings and female education have significant separable effects on children ever born; the income elasticity for numbers of children is positive but small; and other things equal, blacks do not have more children than whites. The quality-per-child proxy (average public school investment) results indicate that female education increases efficiency of quality production more than numbers production; that income elasticities for numbers and quality are similar; and that tastes for quality per child are similar between rural and urban residents, blacks and whites, other things being equal. 55 pp.

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