The Impact of Family Size on Educational Attainment in Cross-Country Comparative Perspective

Guilherme Chihaya, UmeƄ University
Marta Styrc, University of Southampton

We conduct a meta-analysis of research about the impact of family size on child educational attainment in order to systematically compare the effects reported in various studies carried out in different countries. According to the resource dilution model, children who have many siblings receive less support from parents than children raised in small families. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in the effect of family size across countries. Part of this variation may be explained by different cultural conditions: less negative or even positive negative effects may be more common for countries ranking high in collectivism, where parents share the responsibility for raising children with a wide circle of relatives. Another share of the heterogeneity in effect estimates may be related to methodological differences, such as models controlling for or ignoring selectivity of large families.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households