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Sibling Rivalry: A Six Country Comparison


  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    () (University of Bern)


In this paper we analyse with the PISA data on literacy achievement of fifteen-year-old pupils in six member countries of the OECD, whether the fact of having many siblings affects the individual educational outcome. The hypothesis that we test is whether parents’ resources matter for educational outcome. If they do and parents are constraint in their budgets, siblings will rival for the limited parental resources and thereby negatively affect educational outcome. The hypothesis is tested by regressing the literacy achievement on the number of siblings within a family and also by regressing directly forms of parental resources on the family size. We find significant family size effects in all six countries analysed but we also find significant differences in the effects between countries. Although sibling rivalry is relevant in all countries, it seems that some countries can compensate better than others and thereby achieve higher equity in the educational system.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolter, Stefan C., 2003. "Sibling Rivalry: A Six Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp734

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marchionni, Mariana & Vazquez, Emmanuel & Pinto, Florencia, 2012. "Desigualdad educativa en la Argentina. Análisis en base a los datos PISA 2009
      [Education Inequality in Argentina. An analysis based on PISA 2009 data]
      ," MPRA Paper 56420, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Meunier, Muriel, 2011. "Immigration and student achievement: Evidence from Switzerland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 16-38, February.
    3. Marchionni, Mariana & Pinto, Florencia & Vazquez, Emmanuel, 2013. "Determinantes de la desigualdad en el desempeño educativo en la Argentina
      [Determinants of the inequality in PISA test scores in Argentina]
      ," MPRA Paper 56421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Woessmann, Ludger, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ludger Wößmann, 2003. "European education production functions: what makes a difference for student achievement in Europe?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 190, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

    More about this item


    education; equity; family-size; parental background; PISA;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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