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ISER Working Paper Series 2016-17

The twin instrument

Authors

Publication date

19 Dec 2016

Abstract

Twin births are often construed as a natural experiment in the social and natural sciences on the premise that their occurrence is quasi-random. We present new population-level evidence challenging this premise. Using data on about 18 million births in 72 countries, we find that maternal condition is positively associated with twin birth. Thus studies using twins to instrument fertility will under-estimate impacts of fertility on parental investments and women’s labour supply. This is pertinent given recent research indicating these relationships are weak. Using developing country and US data, we demonstrate the bias and estimate bounds on the true parameter.

Subjects

Demography, Labour Market, Childbearing: Fertility, and Health

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Related publications

  1. The twin instrument

    Sonia Bhalotra and Damian Clarke

    1. Demography
    2. Labour Market
    3. Childbearing: Fertility
    4. Health
  2. The twin instrument

    Sonia Bhalotra and Damian Clarke

    1. Demography
    2. Labour Market
    3. Childbearing: Fertility
    4. Health

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