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Effects of birth order and sibling sex composition on human capital investment in children in India


  • Makino, Momoe


The paper explores the effects of birth order and sibling sex composition on human capital investment in children in India using the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS). Endogeneity of fertility is addressed using instruments and controlling for household fixed effects. Family size effect is also distinguished from the sibling sex composition effect. Previous literature has often failed to take endogeneity into account and shows a negative birth order effect for girls in India. Once endogeneity of fertility is addressed, there is no evidence for a negative birth order effect or sibling sex composition effect for girls. Results show that boys are worse off in households that have a higher proportion of boys specifically when they have older brothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Makino, Momoe, 2012. "Effects of birth order and sibling sex composition on human capital investment in children in India," IDE Discussion Papers 319, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper319

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Junsen Zhang & William Chan, 1999. "Dowry and Wife's Welfare: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 786-808, August.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700.
    3. Jasmin Kantarevic & Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    4. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao & Sonalde Desai, 2004. "Wedding Celebrations as Conspicuous Consumption: Signaling Social Status in Rural India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    5. Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
    6. Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Determinants of Gender Equity in India: Examining Dyson and Moore's Thesis with New Data," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 239-268.
    7. 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.
    8. Hatice Balli & Bent Sørensen, 2013. "Interaction effects in econometrics," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 583-603, August.
    9. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
    10. Daniel Rosenblum, 2013. "The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 147-180, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adriana D. Kugler & Santosh Kumar, 2017. "Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(3), pages 835-859, June.

    More about this item


    India; Fertility; Family planning; Household; Birth order; Sibling sex composition; Household resource allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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