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

  • Kantarevic, Jasmin

    ()

    (Ontario Medical Assocation)

  • Mechoulan, Stéphane

    ()

    (University of Toronto)

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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1789.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1789.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2006, 41(4), 755-777
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1789
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  1. Alison Booth & Hiau Joo Kee, 2005. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers 506, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Peter H. Lindert, 1977. "Sibling Position and Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(2), pages 198-219.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 413-26, October.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 1141-56, December.
  8. 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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