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Birth order and the gender gap in educational attainment

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  • Jaqueline Oliveira

    (Rhodes College)

Abstract

While studies of birth order effects on human capital formation for developed countries abound, less is known about these effects in a developing country context. Harnessing rich childbearing history data on senior parents in China, I provide within-family estimates of the impact of birth order on adult children’s completed schooling, emphasizing heterogenous effects across gender. I find evidence that, holding the size of the family fixed, a daughter’s schooling decreases with the number of younger siblings, while a son’s schooling increases with the number of younger siblings. Birth order differences in age at marriage and provision of intergenerational support to parents are possible explanations for the observed patterns in schooling. My findings suggest that the one-child policy, despite having contributed to worsening the sex-ratio imbalance in China, could have helped reduce the gender gap in educational attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaqueline Oliveira, 2019. "Birth order and the gender gap in educational attainment," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 775-803, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:17:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-018-9416-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-018-9416-2
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    Cited by:

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    2. Young-Joo Kim, 2020. "Born to be more educated? Birth order and schooling," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 165-180, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Capital; Gender Gap; Birth Order; Family Planning Policies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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