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A recent study suggests that with every additional child, other siblings are more likely to suffer from lower cognitive abilities, more behavioral issues, and worse outcomes later in life. This research builds on prior evidence that there is a significant trade-off between quantity and quality when it comes to family size. The “quantity-quality” trade-off, as it has been called, can have dramatic impacts throughout a child’s life, such as less education, lower earnings, and increased risk for teenage pregnancies and criminal behavior. If this is true, why are some leaders still pushing for larger families? Maybe it’s time to revisit growth policies that are designed to make infinitely “stronger” economies and nations at real costs to the people actually living in them.
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