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Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance

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  • V. Joseph Hotz
  • Juan Pantano

Abstract

Fueled by new evidence, there has been renewed interest about the effects of birth order on human capital accumulation. The underlying causal mechanisms for such effects remain unsettled. We consider a model in which parents impose more stringent disciplinary environments in response to their earlier-born children's poor performance in school in order to deter such outcomes for their later-born offspring. We provide robust empirical evidence that school performance of children in the NLSY-C declines with birth order as does the stringency of their parents' disciplinary restrictions. And, when asked how they will respond if a child brought home bad grades, parents state that they would be less likely to punish their later-born children. Taken together, these patterns are consistent with a reputation model of strategic parenting.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Joseph Hotz & Juan Pantano, 2013. "Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance," NBER Working Papers 19542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19542
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    3. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2006. "Parental Educational Investment and Children’s Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variation in Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    4. Judith Blake, 1981. "Family size and the quality of children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 421-442, November.
    5. Donna Ginther & Robert Pollak, 2004. "Family structure and children’s educational outcomes: Blended families, stylized facts, and descriptive regressions," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 671-696, November.
    6. Keith Finlay & David Neumark, 2010. "Is Marriage Always Good for Children?: Evidence from Families Affected by Incarceration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 1046-1088.
    7. 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.
    8. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
    9. John F. Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2001. "Family structure and children's achievements," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 249-270.
    10. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    11. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Picard, Natalie & Prieto, Ana, 2006. "Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 5514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David SAHN & Peter GLICK & Thomas F. WALKER, 2012. "Household Shocks and Education Investment in Madagascar," Working Papers 201227, CERDI.
    2. Francesconi, Marco & Heckman, James J., 2016. "Symposium on Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction," IZA Discussion Papers 9977, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2014. "The causal effect of parents’ schooling on children’s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach," CEIS Research Paper 315, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 12 May 2014.
    4. Francesconi, Marco & Heckman, James J, 2015. "Symposium on Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction," Economics Discussion Papers 16868, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    5. Hurwitz, Michael & Goodman, Joshua Samuel & Smith, Jonathan & Fox, Julia, 2015. "The relationship between siblings’ college choices: Evidence from one million SAT-taking families," Scholarly Articles 22805380, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2016. "Healthy(?), wealthy, and wise: Birth order and adult health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 27-45.
    7. Peter J. Glick & David E. Sahn & Thomas F. Walker, 2016. "Household Shocks and Education Investments in Madagascar," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 792-813, December.
    8. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2013. "The causal effect of parents� schooling on children�s schooling in Europe. A new IV approach," Working Papers 2013:30, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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