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Birth order effects on young students’ academic achievement

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  • Bonesrønning, Hans
  • Massih, Sofia Sandgren

Abstract

We examine birth order effects on academic achievement for ten-year-old students using data for the entire population of fifth graders in Norway 2007/2008. The analysis thus adds to a thin empirical literature focusing on birth order effects among young children. We find that being firstborn confers a significant advantage in families with two, three and four children. The analysis makes two other contributions. First, we provide evidence that unless mother's age at childbirth is included among the control variables, only small and imprecise birth order effects are revealed in families with low socioeconomic status. Second, we provide some evidence that the birth order effects differ across families with highly educated and less educated mothers, which lend support to the resource dilution model over the confluence model.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonesrønning, Hans & Massih, Sofia Sandgren, 2011. "Birth order effects on young students’ academic achievement," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 824-832.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:824-832
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.08.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus C. Pörtner, 2004. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1008-1019, November.
    2. Alison Booth & Hiau Kee, 2009. "Birth order matters: the effect of family size and birth order on educational attainment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 367-397, April.
    3. 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).
    4. Datcher-Loury, Linda, 1988. "Effects of Mother's Home Time on Children's Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 367-373, August.
    5. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    6. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
    7. Kessler, Daniel, 1991. "Birth Order, Family Size, and Achievement: Family Structure and Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 413-426, October.
    8. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Birth order; Student achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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