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Is Little Brother Nothing but Trouble?: Educational Attainment, Returns to Schooling and Sibling Structure

  • Sari Pekkala

Family effects on an individual's labor market success have been studied by economists and sociologists. The consensus is that background matters to educational and labor market performance, but it is not clear how and why. I look at indicators of family background and sibling structure, analyzing their effect on educational attainment and earnings. Parental income, schooling and other characteristics are amongst the main determinants of schooling. Also, sibling structure and density affect education, but have no effect on earnings. Sibling density and sex composition are tested as instruments for schooling. With the IV-strategy, estimated return to schooling decreases from 9 to 7 percent for men, but increases to 11-14 percent for women.

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Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 302.

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Date of creation: 15 Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:302
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  1. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S121-45, July.
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  6. Robert M. Hauser & Hsiang-Hui Daphne Kuo, 1998. "Does the Gender Composition of Sibships Affect Women's Educational Attainment?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 644-657.
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  8. Robert Kaestner, 1997. "Are Brothers Really Better? Sibling Sex Composition and Educational Achievement Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 250-284.
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  10. Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1993. "Estimates of the Returns to Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons and Brothers," NBER Working Papers 4491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1986. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Inequality: Asymmetric Information within the Family," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 55-76, February.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2001. "Changes in the wage structure, family income, and children's education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2471, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  17. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
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  21. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
  22. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Education and Home Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 243-50, May.
  23. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
  24. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Do Parents Favor Boys?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 33-54, February.
  25. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  26. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  27. Altonji, Joseph G & Dunn, Thomas A, 1996. "The Effects of Family Characteristics on the Return to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 692-704, November.
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