When a Little Dirt Doesn’t Hurt: The Effect of Family Size on Child Health Outcomes
2013 (English)Report (Other academic)
: This paper studies the causal effect of family size on children’s health. We formulate a model of child health production where family size has a negative effect on child health due to resource dilution but a positive effect due to a positive effect on the development of the immune system, as proposed by the hygiene hypothesis. We use a large dataset on the entire Swedish male birth cohorts between 1965 and 1978 to evaluate which effect that dominates. We use the occurrence of twin births as exogenous shifts in family size. Overall, our results suggest that family size has a positive effect on general health outcomes. This suggests that the mechanism proposed in the hygiene hypothesis dominates the mechanism proposed in the quantity-quality model.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnéuniversitetet , 2013. , 37 p.
Working paper series / Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies, 2013:11
Research subject Economy, Economics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-31020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-31020DiVA: diva2:676805