Publication details

Does co-residence with grandparents reduce the negative association between family size and reading test scores? Evidence from 40 countries.

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Year of publication 2013
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

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Description This paper investigates the effect of co-residence with grandparents in three-generation households on the nature and size of the association between sibship size and reading test scores. It also explores whether this interaction changes with the level of socioeconomic development of a society. We argue that co-residence in traditional three-generation households has a protective effect against resource dilution, and thus decreases the magnitude of the negative association between family size and test scores. We also suggest that coresidence in more modern contexts magnifies the degree of this negative association, since modern families form three-generation households only when severely destabilized. We apply 3-level regression models to the PISA 2000 data to examine our hypotheses and use the Human Development Index as a measure of development. We find that the negative association between family size and test scores increases at higher levels of development and does so more strongly when students co-reside with grandparents. The main finding holds even when controlling statistically for public expenditure on education, public social security expenditure, and crude divorce rate.
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