Study: “Child Quality Over Quantity”
PI(s): Rogers, Halsey F.
Co-PI(s): Dang, Hai-Anh
Affiliation(s): World Bank
Institutional Partner(s): World Bank
Data Source(s): LSMS, DHS, and Cross-Sectional Data
Methods: IV Econometric
Geographic Location(s): Cross-Country Analysis and Vietnam
The goal of this study is to determine whether fertility-related policies affect education outcomes globally and specifically in Vietnam. It focuses on the “quantity-quality trade-off” hypothesis of childbearing and childrearing. When parents have the ability to limit fertility, the result may not only be fewer children but also higher investments in each child’s human capital. The research team investigates the extent to which fertility decline and smaller family size make it possible for households to invest more in their children’s education—not only leaving them in school longer, but also increasing direct outlays such as private tutoring and private education. The researchers undertook a literature review that critically assesses studies on the determinants and effects of tutoring and discusses the welfare and distributional effects of parents’ investment in human capital. The literature review, a global study, finds that having a larger number of children in the household predicts lower levels of expenditures for private tutoring. The second study examines survey data from three different sources at the individual and household level in Vietnam. Private tutoring appears to improve student performance in most settings, and results confirm that families invest less in children’s education when there are more siblings; this may imply that family planning policies in Vietnam have affected not only the number of children born, but also the amount invested in each child’s education, and ultimately, the level of education that the child has attained. A key policy need is to understand whether there is a causal relationship between couple’s fertility choices and the level of investment in their children’s human capital because it has important implications for family planning and population policy. It will shed light on the effects of policies like provision of health care and government-imposed restrictions on family size.
Dang, Hai-Anh & Rogers, F. Halsey. (2008). The Growing Phenomenon of Private Tutoring: Does It Deepen Human Capital, Widen Inequalities, or Waste Resources? The World Bank Research Observer, 23(2), 161-200. DOI: 10.1093/wbro/lkn004.
Dang, Hai-Anh & Rogers, F. Halsey. (2013). The Decision to Invest in Child Quality Over Quantity: Household Size and Household Investment in Education in Vietname (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6487).
Dang, Hai-Anh & Rogers, F. Halsey. (2016). The Decision to Invest in Child Quality over Quantity: Household Size and Household Investment in Education in Vietnam. World Bank Economic Review, 30(1): 104-142. DOI: 10.1093/wber/lhv048