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Birth order and child outcomes: does maternal quality time matter?

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  • C. Monfardini
  • S. G. See

Abstract

Higher birth order positions are often associated with poorer outcomes, possibly due to fewer resources received within the household. Using a sample of PSID-CDS children, we investigate whether the birth order effects in their outcomes are due to unequal allocation of the particular resource represented by maternal quality time. OLS regressions show that the negative birth order effects on various test scores are only slightly diminished when maternal time is included among the regressors. This result is confirmed when we account for unobserved heterogeneity at the household level, exploiting the presence of siblings in the data. Our evidence therefore suggests that birth order effects are not due to differences in maternal quality time received.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp846.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp846

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  1. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
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  3. Booth, Alison L & Kee, Hiau Joo, 2006. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-81, August.
  6. Judith Blake, 1981. "Family size and the quality of children," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 421-442, November.
  7. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher & Wiswall, Matthew, 2010. "Household Choices and Child Development," IZA Discussion Papers 5155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. Jasmin Kantarevic & Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  14. Raquel Bernal, 2008. "The Effect Of Maternal Employment And Child Care On Children'S Cognitive Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1173-1209, November.
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  16. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
  17. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 111-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
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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).

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