The seminar is at 4pm in A109 of the Arts / Newman building. The title of his talk is "Less is More? The Child Quantity-Quality Trade-Off in Early 20th Century England and Wales."
Whilst the child quantity-quality (QQ) model is theoretically well-established, the empirical literature offers only partial support. Motivated by the limited causal empirical evidence in both historic and contemporary societies, this study examines the relationship connecting fertility and child quality for individual families in England and Wales at the start of the 20th century. Using a large sample from the 1911 census, I estimate whether reductions in family size reduce the probability of leaving school and joining the labor force. To account for the endogenous nature of fertility decisions, I use the sex composition of the first two births in families with at least two children as an instrumental variable (IV) for family size. Overall, I find evidence in support of a child QQ effect, as children in the 13--15 age cohort born into smaller families were more likely both to delay entry to the labor force and remain in school. The IV estimates show that not addressing the endogenous nature of fertility decisions can lead to a substantial underestimate of the causal QQ effect. An analysis that uses a semiparametric control function approach to estimate the Average Structural Function (ASF) reveals that this effect is approximately linear.