Cover: Child Schooling and Family Size

Child Schooling and Family Size

An Economic Analysis

Published 1978

by Dennis N. De Tray


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The link between child education and family size is an untapped source of information on how to slow intergenerational poverty transfer. Parents are theorized to determine numbers and education of children with the same choice calculus they use for other major consumption and investment decisions, but not in a price and income effect. Rather numbers and schooling of children are substitute inputs into production of child services. The conceptual model collapses a lifetime of decisions into a single period. Cross-sectional limitations are overcome by approximating the values couples could have expected when they were making lifetime decisions. Family wealth is measured by the present value of the husband's projected lifetime earnings stream; wife's wage is estimated under the assumptions that she would have worked full-time. The empirical results support most of the predictions of the model, which is justification for additional work along the similar lines.

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