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Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador

Author

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  • Monique De Haan
  • Erik Plug
  • José Rosero

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Monique De Haan & Erik Plug & José Rosero, 2014. "Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 359-392.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:49:y:2014:ii:1:p:359-392
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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.
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    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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