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Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings

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  • Gary-Bobo, Robert J.
  • Picard, Natalie
  • Prieto, Ana

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical study of birth-order and sibship sex-composition effects on educational achievement, and uses these variables as instruments to estimate returns to education, with the help of a rich set of individual data. Our sample includes more than 12,000 men and 10,000 women, who all left school in 1992, in France. The wages and educational achievements of individuals, as well as many aspects of family background, including birth order, number of sisters and brothers, are observed. An Ordered Probit model explains educational achievements. Sibship sex composition is shown to have an impact. Brothers and sisters have significant, non-negligible and different effects on educational achievement. A higher number of siblings has a negative effect in general, holding birth order constant, except when parents belong to the highest occupational groups; in other words, it is good to have many brothers and sisters if one's parents are well-to-do (the 'rich daddy effect'). On average, girls suffer significantly more from an additional brother than boys. Birth-order effects are both significant and substantial, even when many controls are included in the regressions. A high rank among siblings is detrimental for educational attainment (all other things equal), except in the case of fatherless children. Finally, a two stage method is used to estimate log-wage equations, taking care of education endogeneity, using birth order and the number of siblings as instruments. The OLS estimates of returns to education are biased downwards, when females are considered, but do not seem to be biased in the male sub-sample, given that many controls have been added in the wage equation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5514.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5514

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Keywords: birth order; earnings; education; family; siblings; sibship sex composition;

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References

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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
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  9. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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  12. Robert Kaestner, 1997. "Are Brothers Really Better? Sibling Sex Composition and Educational Achievement Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 250-284.
  13. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S121-45, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. de Haan, Monique & Plug, Erik & Rosero, José, 2012. "Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador," IZA Discussion Papers 6706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Nathalie Picard & François Charles Wolff, 2013. "Les inégalités intra-familiales d'éducation en France," Working Papers halshs-00853375, HAL.
  3. Bénabou, Roland & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2009. "The French zones d'éducation prioritaire: Much ado about nothing?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 345-356, June.
  4. Brodaty, Thomas & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Prieto, Ana, 2006. "Risk Aversion and Human Capital Investment: A Structural Econometric Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Sanjaya DeSilva & Mohammed Mehrab Bin Bakhtiar, 2011. "Women, Schooling, and Marriage in Rural Philippines," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_701, Levy Economics Institute.
  7. V. Joseph Hotz & Juan Pantano, 2013. "Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance," NBER Working Papers 19542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Meltem Dayioğlu & Murat G. Kirdar & Aysit Tansel, 2009. "Impact of Sibship Size, Birth Order and Sex Composition on School Enrolment in Urban Turkey," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(3), pages 399-426, 06.
  9. Philippe Cordazzo & Magali Jaoul-Grammare, 2010. "Analyse multidimensionnelle de l’insertion professionnelle des étudiants de bac+5 : approche par les parcours de formation et le capital social," Working Papers of BETA 2010-20, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  10. Giulia Ferrari & Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, 2010. "Siblings and human capital: A comparison between Italy and France," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(21), pages 587-614, September.
  11. C. Monfardini & S. G. See, 2012. "Birth order and child outcomes: does maternal quality time matter?," CHILD Working Papers Series 3, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
  12. Hotz, V. Joseph & Pantano, Juan, 2013. "Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7680, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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