Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID
We examine the implications of being early in the birth order, and whether a pattern exists within large families of falling then rising attainment with respect to birth order. Unlike other studies using U.S. data, we go beyond grade for age and look at racial differences. Drawing from OLS and fixed effects estimations, we find that being first-born confers a significant educational advantage that persists when considering earnings; being last-born confers none. These effects are significant for large Black families at the high school level, and for White families of any size at both high school and college levels.
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