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Sibling Similarity in High School Graduation Outcomes: Causal Interdependency or Unobserved Heterogeneity?

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  • Gerald S. Oettinger

Abstract

This paper uses data on age-adjacent sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to test for causal interdependencies between the high school graduation outcomes of older and younger siblings. Even after controlling for observable background characteristics, the graduation probability of an individual whose sibling graduated from high school exceeds the graduation probability of an individual whose sibling did not graduate by a large amount. However, this difference does not measure the causal effect of sibling graduation because of unobserved family factors and genuine simultaneity in the determination of all siblings’ graduation outcomes. To measure the causal effect of sibling achievement on own achievement, I specify models in which sibling achievement is endogenous and estimate these models by two-stage methods using sibling-specific background characteristics as instruments. The evidence indicates that older sibling achievement has a positive causal effect on younger sibling achievement but that younger sibling achievement has no significant influence on older sibling achievement. These results are consistent with a model of intrafamily allocation in which parents learn about child endowments sequentially.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 66 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 631-648

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:66:3:y:2000:p:631-648

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Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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Cited by:
  1. Wiji Arulampalam & Sonia Bhalotra, 2004. "Inequality in Infant Survival Rates in India: Identification of State-Dependence Effects," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 04/558, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Jason Fletcher & Nicole L. Hair & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2012. "Am I my Brother's Keeper? Sibling Spillover Effects: The Case of Developmental Disabilities and Externalizing Behavior," NBER Working Papers 18279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sonia Bhalotra, 2008. "Sibling-Linked Data in the Demographic and Health Surveys," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/203, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Biavaschi, Costanza & Giulietti, Corrado & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Sibling Influence on the Human Capital of the Left Behind," IZA Discussion Papers 7859, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Gender and birth-order differences in time and risk preferences and decisions," Working Papers in Economics 388, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 30 Jun 2011.
  6. Susan Averett & Laura Argys & Daniel Rees, 2011. "Older siblings and adolescent risky behavior: does parenting play a role?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 957-978, July.
  7. Arulampalam, Wiji & Bhalotra, Sonia R., 2006. "Persistence in Infant Mortality: Evidence for the Indian States," IZA Discussion Papers 2488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Effects of siblings and birth order on income redistribution preferences," MPRA Paper 38658, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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