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Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes

  • Kasey S. Buckles
  • Elizabeth L. Munnich

Using the NLSY79 and NLSY79 Child and Young Adult Surveys, we investigate the effect of the age difference between siblings (spacing) on educational achievement. Because spacing may be endogenous, we use an instrumental variables strategy that exploits variation in spacing driven by miscarriages. The IV results indicate that a one-year increase in spacing increases test scores for older siblings by about 0.17 standard deviations. These results are larger than the OLS estimates, suggesting that failing to account for the endogeneity of spacing may understate its benefits. For younger siblings, we find no causal impact of spacing on test scores.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/47/3/613
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 613-642

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:iii:1:p:613-642
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Dahl, Gordon B. & Lochner, Lance John, 2012. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," IZA Discussion Papers 6613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Olukoya, A. A., 1986. "Traditional child spacing practices of women: Experiences from a primary care project in Lagos, Nigeria," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 333-336, January.
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  15. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 1613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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