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Frontiers of Economics in China

Front. Econ. China    2009, Vol. 4 Issue (4) : 601-616
Research articles
“Fertility effect” or “supporting effect?” —Quantity of children and parental health
CHEN Guodong, LEI Xiaoyan,
National School of Development (China Center for Economic Research), Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
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Abstract Using the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, we try to identify the effect that quantity of children has on the health statuses of elderly parents. After dealing with a potential endogeneity problem using instrumental variable estimation, we find no significant long-arm “fertility effect,” but do find a positive “supporting effect” of the quantity of children on parental health. That is, giving birth to more children has no significant effect, but the availability of additional children in old age has a beneficial effect on health during that time. Further investigation yields a more significant effect on mothers than on fathers, and a more pronounced effect on cognitive health than on physical health, as measured by occurrences of hypertension.
Keywords quantity of children      fertility effect      supporting effect      parental health      
Issue Date: 05 December 2009
 Cite this article:   
CHEN Guodong,LEI Xiaoyan. “Fertility effect” or “supporting effect?” —Quantity of children and parental health[J]. Front. Econ. China, 2009, 4(4): 601-616.
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CHEN Guodong
LEI Xiaoyan
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