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Family Norms, Gender Roles, and Children’s Educational Attainment in Chinese society: The Case of Developing Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  10 without identifying the birth order at least in one of the questionnaires, 1 we are unable to identify children in the family by birth order if the respondent had any deceased sibling, which is not uncommon for older people, or more than five siblings. We also have to exclude cases when the age of any of the reported siblings is missing. In addition, we exclude cases with inconsistent reports of siblings’ birth orders and ages. Older respondents in the sample were more likely to be unable to recall the exact age of all siblings. As a result, our selection of cases is biased against older and larger families. We admit this limitation and potential bias of our selected sample, but argue that families are the mostly likely to differentiate educational investment in children after the onset of industrialization and fertility limitation, when parents start to trade quantity for quality of children (Buchmann and Hannum 2001; Parish and Willis 1993). Thus, our selection of younger and less large families in the early period of development allows us to capture the reality in families that are relatively conscious about strategic investment in children’s education under budget constraints. We use ordinary least squares regression models for the analyses. All the models are for predicting years of schooling. For independent variables, we include a set of independent variables for family background, including parents’ years of education, father’s employment status, and parents’ socio-economic status estimated with the International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI) proposed by Ganzeboom and Trieman (1996). Because our selected samples of early-born children were somewhat above middle age in the survey year, the nature of their fathers’ work is far from the usual type in industrial societies. More than 40 percent of fathers of the families in our sample were farmers, and near 20 percent were self-employed. As father’s employment status affects the stability of family finance and children’s career expectations, we argue that it is important to control for it. We also include government employment in father’s employment status as the Taiwanese government has been subsidizing children’s education for its employees, and thus reduced the opportunity cost of children’s schooling for the family. 1 There are differences between the two questionnaires used in 1999 and 2000. The 1999 survey did not ask respondents to identify birth order when giving information of live siblings, which increased our difficulty to identify children in the family by ordinal positions.

Authors: Yu, Wei-hsin. and Su, Kuo-Hsien.
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10
without identifying the birth order at least in one of the questionnaires,
1
we are unable to identify
children in the family by birth order if the respondent had any deceased sibling, which is not uncommon
for older people, or more than five siblings. We also have to exclude cases when the age of any of the
reported siblings is missing. In addition, we exclude cases with inconsistent reports of siblings’ birth
orders and ages. Older respondents in the sample were more likely to be unable to recall the exact age of
all siblings. As a result, our selection of cases is biased against older and larger families. We admit this
limitation and potential bias of our selected sample, but argue that families are the mostly likely to
differentiate educational investment in children after the onset of industrialization and fertility limitation,
when parents start to trade quantity for quality of children (Buchmann and Hannum 2001; Parish and
Willis 1993). Thus, our selection of younger and less large families in the early period of development
allows us to capture the reality in families that are relatively conscious about strategic investment in
children’s education under budget constraints.
We use ordinary least squares regression models for the analyses. All the models are for
predicting years of schooling. For independent variables, we include a set of independent variables for
family background, including parents’ years of education, father’s employment status, and parents’
socio-economic status estimated with the International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status
(ISEI) proposed by Ganzeboom and Trieman (1996). Because our selected samples of early-born children
were somewhat above middle age in the survey year, the nature of their fathers’ work is far from the usual
type in industrial societies. More than 40 percent of fathers of the families in our sample were farmers,
and near 20 percent were self-employed. As father’s employment status affects the stability of family
finance and children’s career expectations, we argue that it is important to control for it. We also include
government employment in father’s employment status as the Taiwanese government has been
subsidizing children’s education for its employees, and thus reduced the opportunity cost of children’s
schooling for the family.
1
There are differences between the two questionnaires used in 1999 and 2000. The 1999 survey did not ask
respondents to identify birth order when giving information of live siblings, which increased our difficulty to
identify children in the family by ordinal positions.


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