Budget Constraints and Son Preference in Educational Investment in Taiwan

by Yi-Chun Chang, Jui-Chung Allen Li

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This study examines the educational effects of sibship sex composition using data from the 2002 and 2007 Taiwan Social Change Survey. The results show that men with older siblings, especially older sisters, have higher educational attainment, while women with both younger sisters and younger brothers have lower educational attainment. Moreover, the positive effect of having an additional older sibling on men's educational attainment only exists in large families but not small families. It interprets the findings as consistent with an indirect parental effect of intra-family transfer of resources, reflecting parents' son preference in educational investment in their offspring; and that such a son preference is only present when the family is under budget constraints. Implications of these findings for trends in declining fertility and diminishing gender gap in educational attainment are discussed.

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