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Birth Order, Educational Attainment and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID

Author

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  • Kantarevic, Jasmin

    () (Ontario Medical Assocation)

  • Mechoulan, Stéphane

    () (University of Toronto)

Abstract

Whether siblings of specific birth order perform differently has been a longstanding open empirical question. We use the family tree structure of the PSID to examine two claims found in the literature: whether being early in the birth order implies a distinct educational advantage, and whether there exists, within large families, a pattern of falling then rising attainment with respect to birth order, to the point where it becomes best to be last-born. Drawing from OLS and family fixed effects estimations, we find that being first-born confers a significant educational advantage that persists when considering earnings; being last-born confers none.

Suggested Citation

  • Kantarevic, Jasmin & Mechoulan, Stéphane, 2005. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," IZA Discussion Papers 1789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1789
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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 G. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 10720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kessler, Daniel, 1991. "Birth Order, Family Size, and Achievement: Family Structure and Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 413-426, October.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
    5. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-1156, December.
    6. Kelly, Terence F & Singer, Leslie, 1971. "The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment: Plans and Progress," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 30-38, May.
    7. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 121-145, July.
    8. Peter H. Lindert, 1977. "Sibling Position and Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(2), pages 198-219.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    birth order; family size; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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