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Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador

Listed author(s):
  • Monique De Haan
  • Erik Plug
  • José Rosero

In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador. Using family fixed effects models we find positive and persistent birth order effects; earlier-born children stay behind in their human capital development from infancy to adolescence. Turning to potential mechanisms, we find that earlier-born children receive less quality time from their mothers. Additionally, they are breastfed shorter. Poverty plays a key role in explaining these birth order patterns; we observe the largest birth order effects in poor and low-educated families, accompanied with reversed birth order effects in rich and high-educated families.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/49/2/359
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 49 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 359-392

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:49:y:2014:ii:1:p:359-392
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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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 J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700.
  3. 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).
  4. Jonathan Guryan & Erik Hurst & Melissa Kearney, 2008. "Parental Education and Parental Time with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 23-46, Summer.
  5. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
  6. Marco Francesconi, 2008. "Adult Outcomes for Children of Teenage Mothers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 93-117, 03.
  7. Emerson, Patrick M. & Souza, André Portela, 2008. "Birth Order, Child Labor, and School Attendance in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1647-1664, September.
  8. Daniel I. Rees & Joseph J. Sabia, 2009. "The Effect of Breast Feeding on Educational Attainment: Evidence from Sibling Data," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 43-72.
  9. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
  10. 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.
  11. de Haan, Monique, 2010. "Birth order, family size and educational attainment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 576-588, August.
  12. Senauer, Benjamin & Kassouf, Ana L, 2000. "The Effects of Breastfeeding on Health and the Demand for Medical Assistance among Children in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 719-736, July.
  13. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  14. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Picard, Natalie & Prieto, Ana, 2006. "Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 5514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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