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Birth Order and Risky Adolescent Behavior

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Author Info

  • Laura M. Argys
  • Daniel I. Rees
  • Susan L. Averett
  • Benjama Witoonchart

Abstract

It is commonly believed that birth order is an important determinant of success. However, previous studies in this area have failed to provide convincing evidence that birth order is related to test scores, education, or earnings. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth--1979, we investigate the association between birth order and adolescent behaviors such as smoking, drinking, marijuana use, sexual activity, and crime. Our estimates show that middle borns and last borns are much more likely to use substances and be sexually active than their firstborn counterparts. These results provide the strongest evidence to date that birth order is related to measurable behaviors. (JEL I12, J12, J13) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbj011
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 44 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 215-233

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:215-233

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Cited by:
  1. Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina, 2010. "Risk-taking middle-borns: A study on birth-order and risk preferences," Working Papers in Economics 438, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
  3. Averett, Susan L. & Estelle, Sarah M., 2012. "Is it Necessary to Walk the Talk? The Effects of Maternal Experiences and Communication on the Sexual Behavior of Female Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 6586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina, 2008. "Money and Success –Sibling and Birth-Order Effects on Positional Concerns," Working Papers in Economics 299, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Jung Hur & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2012. "Organizational Structure and Product Market Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 707-743, 09.
  6. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Ryan, Chris & Sartbayeva, Anastasia, 2009. "Taking Chances: The Effect of Growing Up on Welfare on the Risky Behavior of Young People," IZA Discussion Papers 4095, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Seth Richards-Shubik, 2012. "Peer Effects in Sexual Initiation: Separating Demand and Supply Mechanisms," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Rees, Daniel I. & Lopez, Elizabeth & Averett, Susan L. & Argys, Laura M., 2008. "Birth order and participation in school sports and other extracurricular activities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 354-362, June.

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