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Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings

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  • Gary-Bobo, Robert J.
  • Picard, Natalie
  • Prieto, Ana

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical study of birth-order and sibship sex-composition effects on educational achievement, and uses these variables as instruments to estimate returns to education, with the help of a rich set of individual data. Our sample includes more than 12,000 men and 10,000 women, who all left school in 1992, in France. The wages and educational achievements of individuals, as well as many aspects of family background, including birth order, number of sisters and brothers, are observed. An Ordered Probit model explains educational achievements. Sibship sex composition is shown to have an impact. Brothers and sisters have significant, non-negligible and different effects on educational achievement. A higher number of siblings has a negative effect in general, holding birth order constant, except when parents belong to the highest occupational groups; in other words, it is good to have many brothers and sisters if one's parents are well-to-do (the 'rich daddy effect'). On average, girls suffer significantly more from an additional brother than boys. Birth-order effects are both significant and substantial, even when many controls are included in the regressions. A high rank among siblings is detrimental for educational attainment (all other things equal), except in the case of fatherless children. Finally, a two stage method is used to estimate log-wage equations, taking care of education endogeneity, using birth order and the number of siblings as instruments. The OLS estimates of returns to education are biased downwards, when females are considered, but do not seem to be biased in the male sub-sample, given that many controls have been added in the wage equation.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5514
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brodaty, Thomas & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Prieto, Ana, 2006. "Risk Aversion and Human Capital Investment: A Structural Econometric Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Sanjaya DeSilva & Mohammed Mehrab Bin Bakhtiar, 2011. "Women, Schooling, and Marriage in Rural Philippines," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_701, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Monfardini, Chiara & See, Sarah Grace, 2012. "Birth Order and Child Outcomes: Does Maternal Quality Time Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 6825, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. V. Hotz & Juan Pantano, 2015. "Strategic parenting, birth order, and school performance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 911-936, October.
    5. Meltem Dayioğlu & Murat G. Kirdar & Aysit Tansel, 2009. "Impact of Sibship Size, Birth Order and Sex Composition on School Enrolment in Urban Turkey," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(3), pages 399-426, June.
    6. Nathalie Picard & François-Charles Wolff, 2014. "Les inégalités intrafamiliales d'éducation en France," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 65(6), pages 813-840.
    7. Bénabou, Roland & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2009. "The French zones d'éducation prioritaire: Much ado about nothing?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 345-356, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Philippe Cordazzo & Magali Jaoul-Grammare, 2010. "Analyse multidimensionnelle de l’insertion professionnelle des étudiants de bac+5 : approche par les parcours de formation et le capital social," Working Papers of BETA 2010-20, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    10. Eva Beaujouan & Anne Solaz, 2019. "Is the Family Size of Parents and Children Still Related? Revisiting the Cross-Generational Relationship Over the Last Century," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(2), pages 595-619, April.
    11. Giulia Ferrari & Gianpiero Dalla-Zuanna, 2010. "Siblings and human capital: A comparison between Italy and France," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(21), pages 587-614.
    12. Rees, Daniel I. & Lopez, Elizabeth & Averett, Susan L. & Argys, Laura M., 2008. "Birth order and participation in school sports and other extracurricular activities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 354-362, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    birth order; earnings; education; family; siblings; sibship sex composition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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