DP16445 How Much Do Norms Matter for Quantity and Quality of Children?
This paper quantifies the effect of social norms, child mortality, and women's education on fertility and children's education in Pakistan. Quantitative analyses show that norms explain 8% of the variation in fertility and 5% of the variation in investment in children's education among the households that differ in the women's socioeconomic background. In comparison, child mortality explains 34% and 17% of the difference in quantity and quality, respectively. The women's wage plays the most crucial role in explaining QQ variation across households. The impact of norms is much higher within ethnic groups as the average quantity and quality reduce by 35% and 143%, respectively, in the absence of norms. Policy analysis shows that conditional transfers perform better than unconditional transfers in promoting investments in children's education. Furthermore, the cost of the policies reduces in the absence of norms and child mortality. Last, the QQ trade-off weakens with the education of women and in the absence of norms and child mortality.