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Birth order effects on young students’ academic achievement

  • Bonesrønning, Hans
  • Massih, Sofia Sandgren
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053535711000989
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 824-832

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:824-832
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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    1. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
    2. 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 413-26, October.
    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.
    4. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    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.
    6. 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 367-73, August.
    7. 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).
    8. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus Chr. Pörtner, 2002. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," CAM Working Papers 2002-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
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