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Education, Birth Order, and Family Size

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  • Bagger, Jesper

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Birchenall, Javier A.

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Mansour, Hani

    (University of Colorado Denver)

  • Urzua, Sergio

    (University of Maryland)

Abstract

We introduce a general framework to analyze the trade-off between education and family size. Our framework incorporates parental preferences for birth order and delivers theoretically consistent birth order and family size effects on children's educational attainment. We develop an empirical strategy to identify these effects. We show that the coefficient on family size in a regression of educational attainment on birth order and family size does not identify the family size effect as defined within our framework, even when the endogeneity of both birth order and family size are properly accounted for. Using Danish administrative data we test the theoretical implications of the model. The data does not reject our theory. We find significant birth order and family size effects in individuals' years of education thereby confirming the presence of a quantity-quality trade off.

Suggested Citation

  • Bagger, Jesper & Birchenall, Javier A. & Mansour, Hani & Urzua, Sergio, 2013. "Education, Birth Order, and Family Size," IZA Discussion Papers 7454, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7454
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    Cited by:

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    2. Massimiliano Bratti & Simona Fiore & Mariapia Mendola, 2016. "Family Size, Sibling Rivalry and Migration: Evidence from Mexico," Development Working Papers 390, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 21 Jun 2016.
    3. Wanchuan Lin & Juan Pantano & Shuqiao Sun, 2020. "Birth order and unwanted fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 413-440, April.
    4. Chinhui Juhn & Yona Rubinstein & C. Andrew Zuppann, 2015. "The Quantity-Quality Trade-off and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills," NBER Working Papers 21824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ea Hoppe Blaabæk & Mads Meier Jæger & Joseph Molitoris, 2020. "Family Size and Educational Attainment: Cousins, Contexts, and Compensation," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(3), pages 575-600, July.
    6. Rune V. Lesner, 2016. "The Long-Term Effect of Childhood Poverty," Economics Working Papers 2016-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    7. Houmark, Mikkel Aagaard, 2023. "First Among Equals? How Birth Order Shapes Child Development," MPRA Paper 119325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Chris SAKELLARIOU & Fang ZHENG, 2014. "Returns to Schooling for Urban Residents and Migrants in China: New IV Estimates and a Comprehensive Investigation," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 1407, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    9. Halla, Martin & Zweimüller, Martina, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," IZA Discussion Papers 7968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter & Martin Halla & Alexandra Posekany & Gerald J. Pruckner & Thomas Schober, 2014. "The Quantity and Quality of Children: A Semi-Parametric Bayesian IV Approach," Economics working papers 2014-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    11. Ronni Pavan, 2016. "On the Production of Skills and the Birth-Order Effect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 699-726.
    12. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2024. "Birth Order and Social Outcomes, England, 1680-2024," Working Papers 0254, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    13. Nakamura, Nobuyuki & Suzuki, Aya, 2023. "Impact of foreign domestic workers on the fertility decision of households: evidence from Hong Kong," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(1), pages 105-135, March.
    14. Sanni Breining & Joseph Doyle & David N. Figlio & Krzysztof Karbownik & Jeffrey Roth, 2020. "Birth Order and Delinquency: Evidence from Denmark and Florida," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 95-142.
    15. Christina J. Diaz & Jeremy E. Fiel, 2021. "When Size Matters: IV Estimates of Sibship Size on Educational Attainment in the U.S," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 40(6), pages 1195-1220, December.
    16. Marco Bertoni & Giorgio Brunello, 2016. "Later-borns Don’t Give Up: The Temporary Effects of Birth Order on European Earnings," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(2), pages 449-470, April.
    17. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio, 2013. "Laterborns Don't Give Up: The Effects of Birth Order on Earnings in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7679, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Sonia Bhalotra & Damian Clarke, 2020. "The Twin Instrument: Fertility and Human Capital Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 3090-3139.
    19. Rune V. Lesner, 2018. "The long-term effect of childhood poverty," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 969-1004, July.
    20. Bu, Feifei, 2014. "Sibling configurations, educational aspiration and attainment," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    21. Shen, Guangjun & Zou, Jingxian & Liu, Xiaoguang, 2017. "Economies of scale, resource dilution and education choice in developing countries: Evidence from Chinese households," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 138-153.
    22. Öberg, Stefan, 2021. "The casual effect of fertility: The multiple problems with instrumental variables for the number of children in families," SocArXiv peuvz, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    quantity-quality trade off; fertility models; fixed-effects; instrumental variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets

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