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Birth Order, Educational Attainment and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID

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  • Kantarevic, Jasmin

    ()
    (Ontario Medical Assocation)

  • Mechoulan, Stéphane

    ()
    (University of Toronto)

Abstract

Whether siblings of specific birth order perform differently has been a longstanding open empirical question. We use the family tree structure of the PSID to examine two claims found in the literature: whether being early in the birth order implies a distinct educational advantage, and whether there exists, within large families, a pattern of falling then rising attainment with respect to birth order, to the point where it becomes best to be last-born. Drawing from OLS and family fixed effects estimations, we find that being first-born confers a significant educational advantage that persists when considering earnings; being last-born confers none.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1789.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2006, 41(4), 755-777
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1789

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Keywords: birth order; family size; education;

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  1. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Sandra E. Black & Paul G. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 10720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kelly, Terence F & Singer, Leslie, 1971. "The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment: Plans and Progress," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 30-38, May.
  5. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
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