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The effect of opposite sex siblings on cognitive and noncognitive skills in early childhood

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  • Laura Cyron
  • Guido Schwerdt
  • Martina Viarengo

Abstract

We investigate the effect of having opposite sex siblings on cognitive and noncognitive skills of children in the United States at the onset of formal education. Our identification strategy rests on the assumption that, conditional on covariates, the sibling sex composition of the two firstborn children in a family is arguably exogenous. With regard to cognitive skills, learning skills and self-control measured in kindergarten, we find that boys benefit from having a sister, while there is no effect for girls. We also find evidence for the effect fading out as early as first grade.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Cyron & Guido Schwerdt & Martina Viarengo, 2017. "The effect of opposite sex siblings on cognitive and noncognitive skills in early childhood," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(19), pages 1369-1373, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:19:p:1369-1373
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2017.1279263
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    Cited by:

    1. Iryna Hayduk & Maude Toussaint‐Comeau, 2022. "Determinants of noncognitive skills: Mediating effects of siblings' interaction and parenting quality," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 677-694, October.
    2. Anne Ardila Brenøe, 2022. "Brothers increase women’s gender conformity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 1859-1896, October.
    3. Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Magnée, Cécile A.J., 2020. "Does sibling gender affect personality traits?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    4. Anne Ardila Brenøe, 2018. "Origins of gender norms: sibling gender composition and women's choice of occupation and partner," ECON - Working Papers 294, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Bao, Te & Yuan, Yuemei & Luo, Weidong & Xu, Bin, 2024. "Unlucky to have brothers: Sibling sex composition and girls’ locus of control," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 173(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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