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Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID

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  • Jasmin Kantarevic
  • Stéphane Mechoulan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jasmin Kantarevic & Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:41:y:2006:i:4:p755-777
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alison Booth & Hiau Kee, 2009. "Birth order matters: the effect of family size and birth order on educational attainment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 367-397, April.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Paul G. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 10720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kessler, Daniel, 1991. "Birth Order, Family Size, and Achievement: Family Structure and Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 413-426, October.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
    5. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-1156, December.
    6. Kelly, Terence F & Singer, Leslie, 1971. "The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment: Plans and Progress," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 30-38, May.
    7. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 121-145, July.
    8. Peter H. Lindert, 1977. "Sibling Position and Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(2), pages 198-219.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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