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Birth Order and Risky Adolescent Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Laura M. Argys
  • Daniel I. Rees
  • Susan L. Averett
  • Benjama Witoonchart

Abstract

It is commonly believed that birth order is an important determinant of success. However, previous studies in this area have failed to provide convincing evidence that birth order is related to test scores, education, or earnings. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth--1979, we investigate the association between birth order and adolescent behaviors such as smoking, drinking, marijuana use, sexual activity, and crime. Our estimates show that middle borns and last borns are much more likely to use substances and be sexually active than their firstborn counterparts. These results provide the strongest evidence to date that birth order is related to measurable behaviors. (JEL I12, J12, J13) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura M. Argys & Daniel I. Rees & Susan L. Averett & Benjama Witoonchart, 2006. "Birth Order and Risky Adolescent Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 215-233, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:215-233
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbj011
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Ana Sartbayeva, 2009. "Taking Chances: The Effect of Growing Up on Welfare on the Risky Behaviour of Young People," CEPR Discussion Papers 604, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    2. Seth Richards‐Shubik, 2015. "Peer effects in sexual initiation: Separating demand and supply mechanisms," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), pages 663-702, November.
    3. Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina, 2010. "Money and success - Sibling and birth-order effects on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 131-142, February.
    4. Liu, Zhiqiang & Yan, Miao & Fan, Youqing & Chen, Liling, 2021. "Ascribed or achieved? The role of birth order on innovative behaviour in the workplace," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 480-492.
    5. Susan Averett & Sarah Estelle, 2014. "Will daughters walk mom’s talk? The effects of maternal communication about sex on the sexual behavior of female adolescents," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 613-639, December.
    6. Wanchuan Lin & Juan Pantano & Shuqiao Sun, 2020. "Birth order and unwanted fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 413-440, April.
    7. Sandra E. Black & Erik Grönqvist & Björn Öckert, 2018. "Born to Lead? The Effect of Birth Order on Noncognitive Abilities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 274-286, May.
    8. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2016. "Healthy(?), wealthy, and wise: Birth order and adult health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 27-45.
    9. Jung Hur & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2012. "Organizational Structure and Product Market Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 707-743, September.
    10. Jason Delaney & John Winters, 2014. "Sinners or Saints? Preachers’ Kids and Risky Health Behaviors," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 464-476, December.
    11. TENIKUE Michel & TEQUAME Miron, 2017. "Birth order, Sex Composition and Risky Behaviour of Adolescent Girls in Nigeria," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-04, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    12. Chen, Jiaying & Park, Albert, 2021. "School entry age and educational attainment in developing countries: Evidence from China's compulsory education law," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 715-732.
    13. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    14. Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina, 2010. "Risk-taking middle-borns: A study on birth-order and risk preferences," Working Papers in Economics 438, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    15. Anne Ardila Brenøe & Ramona Molitor, 2018. "Birth order and health of newborns," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(2), pages 363-395, April.
    16. Hieu T. M. Nguyen & Blane D. Lewis, 2020. "Teenage Marriage and Motherhood in Vietnam: The Negative Effects of Starting School Early," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 39(4), pages 739-762, August.
    17. Averett, Susan L. & Estelle, Sarah M., 2012. "Is it Necessary to Walk the Talk? The Effects of Maternal Experiences and Communication on the Sexual Behavior of Female Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 6586, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Buckles, Kasey & Kolka, Shawna, 2014. "Prenatal investments, breastfeeding, and birth order," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 66-70.
    19. Sarah See, 2016. "Parental supervision and adolescent risky behaviors," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 185-206, March.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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