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Birth Order and Schooling: Theory and Evidence from Twelve Sub-Saharan Countries

  • Michel Tenikue
  • Bertrand Verheyden

This paper examines the impact of birth order on the discrimination between siblings in terms of schooling and child labour. Our dynamic model shows how birth order interacts with current and future consumption and highlights the crucial role of household wealth. Whereas in poor families liquidity constraints when children are young penalise earlier born children, richer families tend to invest more in the education of these children. We test these predictions by using recent Demographic and Health Surveys data sets for twelve Sub-Saharan countries. Controlling for household fixed effects, gender and age, our results confirm that the education levels of earlier born children are ceteris paribus lower than their later born siblings in poor households, whereas earlier-born children are more educated in richer ones. Copyright 2010 The author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 459-495

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:459-495
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