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Does the birth order affect the cognitive development of a child?

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  • Frank Heiland

Abstract

This article investigates the link between position in the birth order and early scholastic ability. Using matched mother-child data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979 cohort, NLSY79), I find that being the first-born is beneficial even after controlling for (nonlinear) effects of family size and child characteristics. The verbal ability of first-borns is about one-tenth of a SD higher than for children in the middle of the birth order. There is no evidence that last-borns fare better than intermediate children. The first-born advantage is confirmed by estimates from within-family variation models and I argue that the findings are consistent with the resource dilution hypothesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 14 ()
Pages: 1799-1818

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:14:p:1799-1818

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Cited by:
  1. Lehmann, Jee-Yeon K. & Nuevo-Chiquero, Ana & Vidal-Fernández, Marian, 2012. "Explaining the Birth Order Effect: The Role of Prenatal and Early Childhood Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 6755, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. C. Monfardini & S. G. See, 2012. "Birth order and child outcomes: does maternal quality time matter?," Working Papers wp846, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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