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

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  • Michel Tenikue
  • Bertrand Verheyden

Abstract

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: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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  • Michel Tenikue & Bertrand Verheyden, 2010. "Birth Order and Schooling: Theory and Evidence from Twelve Sub-Saharan Countries," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(4), pages 459-495, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:459-495
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejq013
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    Cited by:

    1. Baland, Jean-Marie & Bonjean, Isabelle & Guirkinger, Catherine & Ziparo, Roberta, 2016. "The economic consequences of mutual help in extended families," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 38-56.
    2. Annika Lindskog, 2018. "Diversification of Human Capital Investments in Rural Ethiopia," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 30(4), pages 676-692, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Vinish Shrestha & Rashesh Shrestha, 2017. "Intergenerational effect of education reform: mother's education and children's human capital in Nepal," Working Papers 2017-05, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2017.
    5. KUEPIE Mathias & TENIKUE Michel, 2012. "The effect of the number of siblings on education in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from a natural experiment," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-28, LISER.
    6. Makate, Marshall, 2016. "Maternal health-seeking behavior and child’s birth order: Evidence from Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe," MPRA Paper 72722, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Jul 2016.
    7. Lucio Esposito & Sunil Mitra Kumar & Adrián Villaseñor, 2020. "The importance of being earliest: birth order and educational outcomes along the socioeconomic ladder in Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 1069-1099, July.
    8. Maximilian Schwefer, 2018. "Birth Order Effects and Educational Achievement in the Developing World," ifo Working Paper Series 282, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    9. Fredrick M. Wamalwa & Justine Burns, 2017. "Gender and Birth Order Effects on Intra-household Schooling Choices and Education Attainments in Kenya," Working Papers 708, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    10. Wilson, Nicholas, 2018. "Altruism in preventive health behavior: At-scale evidence from the HIV/AIDS pandemic," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 119-129.
    11. Monique De Haan & Erik Plug & José Rosero, 2014. "Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 359-392.
    12. Peter Hangoma & Arild Aakvik & Bjarne Robberstad, 2017. "Explaining changes in child health inequality in the run up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): The case of Zambia," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(2), pages 1-21, February.
    13. Valérie Jarry & Alain Gagnon & Robert Bourbeau, 2013. "Maternal age, birth order and other early-life factors: a family-level approach to exploring exceptional survival," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 11(1), pages 267-294.
    14. Jeanne Lafortune & Soohyung Lee, 2014. "All for One? Family Size and Children's Educational Distribution under Credit Constraints," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 365-369, May.
    15. DIARRA, Setou & LEBIHAN, Laetitia & MAO TAKONGMO, Charles Olivier, 2018. "Polygyny, Child Education, Health and Labour: Theory and Evidence from Mali," MPRA Paper 88518, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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