IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/102426.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Birth Order on Educational Attainment among the Baby Boom Generation

Author

Listed:
  • Handy, Christopher
  • Shester, Katharine

Abstract

We show that changes in birth order during the baby boom can explain a substantial share of the stagnation and recovery in educational attainment among cohorts born between 1946 and 1974. Combining birth order effects estimated using the Health and Retirement Survey and birth order data from Vital Statistics, we estimate that changes in birth order can explain more than 20 percent of the decline in white male college completion rates among the 1946–1960 cohorts, and more than one third of the rebound among the 1960–1974 cohorts. We also revisit the role of cohort size, finding smaller effects than previously reported.

Suggested Citation

  • Handy, Christopher & Shester, Katharine, 2020. "The Effect of Birth Order on Educational Attainment among the Baby Boom Generation," MPRA Paper 102426, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:102426
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/102426/1/MPRA_paper_102426.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/106397/1/MPRA_paper_106397.pdf
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/113525/1/MPRA_paper_113525.pdf
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor, 2012. "What Does Human Capital Do? A Review of Goldin and Katz's The Race between Education and Technology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 426-463, June.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Older and Wiser? Birth Order and IQ of Young Men," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(1), pages 103-120, March.
    3. Larry Jones & Alice Schoonbrodt, 2016. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 22, pages 157-178, October.
    4. 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).
    5. 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.
    6. Hui Ren Tan, 2019. "More Is Less?: The Impact of Family Size on Education Outcomes in the United States, 1850–1940," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 1154-1181.
    7. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2015. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1031-1073.
    8. Kai Zhao, 2014. "War Finance and the Baby Boom," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(3), pages 459-473, July.
    9. Martha J. Bailey & William J. Collins, 2011. "Did Improvements in Household Technology Cause the Baby Boom? Evidence from Electrification, Appliance Diffusion, and the Amish," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 189-217, April.
    10. de Haan, Monique, 2010. "Birth order, family size and educational attainment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 576-588, August.
    11. V. Hotz & Juan Pantano, 2015. "Strategic parenting, birth order, and school performance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 911-936, October.
    12. David Autor & David Figlio & Krzysztof Karbownik & Jeffrey Roth & Melanie Wasserman, 2019. "Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap in Behavioral and Educational Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 338-381, July.
    13. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    14. Bound, John & Turner, Sarah, 2007. "Cohort crowding: How resources affect collegiate attainment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 877-899, June.
    15. 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.
    16. Larry Jones & Alice Schoonbrodt, 2016. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 22, pages 157-178, October.
    17. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Dropout and Enrollment Trends in the Postwar Period: What Went Wrong in the 1970s?," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 439-482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Lundberg, Shelly, 2017. "Father Absence and the Educational Gender Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 10814, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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).
    22. Esteban M. Aucejo & Jonathan James, 2019. "Catching up to girls: Understanding the gender imbalance in educational attainment within race," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(4), pages 502-525, June.
    23. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Going to College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 97-102, May.
    24. Chiara Monfardini & Sarah Grace See, 2016. "Birth order and child cognitive outcomes: an exploration of the parental time mechanism," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5), pages 481-495, September.
    25. Jessamyn Schaller, 2016. "Booms, Busts, and Fertility: Testing the Becker Model Using Gender-Specific Labor Demand," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(1), pages 1-29.
    26. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    27. Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann & Ana Nuevo-Chiquero & Marian Vidal-Fernandez, 2018. "The Early Origins of Birth Order Differences in Children’s Outcomes and Parental Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(1), pages 123-156.
    28. Joshua D. Angrist & Stacey H. Chen, 2011. "Schooling and the Vietnam-Era GI Bill: Evidence from the Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 96-118, April.
    29. Matthew J. Hill, 2014. "Homes and husbands for all: Marriage, housing and the baby boom," Economics Working Papers 1452, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christopher Handy & Katharine L. Shester, 2022. "Birth order and the decline in college completion among the baby boom generation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(4), pages 1626-1643, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Lucio Esposito & Sunil Mitra Kumar & Adrián Villaseñor, 2020. "The importance of being earliest: birth order and educational outcomes along the socioeconomic ladder in Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 1069-1099, July.
    4. Pruckner, Gerald J. & Schneeweis, Nicole & Schober, Thomas & Zweimüller, Martina, 2021. "Birth order, parental health investment, and health in childhood," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    5. Jaqueline Oliveira, 2019. "Birth order and the gender gap in educational attainment," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 775-803, September.
    6. Sandra E. Black & Erik Grönqvist & Björn Öckert, 2018. "Born to Lead? The Effect of Birth Order on Noncognitive Abilities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 274-286, May.
    7. Kim, Jun Hyung & Wang, Shaoda, 2021. "Birth Order Effects, Parenting Style, and Son Preference," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1007, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Enkelejda Havari & Marco Savegnago, 2022. "The intergenerational effects of birth order on education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 349-377, January.
    9. Stéphane Mechoulan & François-Charles Wolff, 2015. "Intra-household allocation of family resources and birth order: evidence from France using siblings data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 937-964, October.
    10. Mats Lillehagen & Martin Arstad Isungset, 2020. "New Partner, New Order? Multipartnered Fertility and Birth Order Effects on Educational Achievement," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(5), pages 1625-1646, October.
    11. Björkegren, Evelina & Svaledry, Helena, 2017. "Birth Order and Child Health," Working Paper Series 2017:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    12. Bu, Feifei, 2014. "Sibling configurations, educational aspiration and attainment," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Andersen, Dana C. & Gunes, Pinar Mine, 2023. "Birth Order Effects in the Developed and Developing World: Evidence from International Test Scores," IZA Discussion Papers 15931, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Conzo, Pierluigi & Zotti, Roberto, 2020. "Blessed are the first: The long-term effect of birth order on trust," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    15. Rita Ginja & Jenny Jans & Arizo Karimi, 2017. "Parental Investments in Early Life and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Swedish Parental Leave Rules," Working Papers 2017-085, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    16. Andra Hiriscau & Mihaela Pintea, 2022. "Birth Order, Socioeconomic Background and Educational Attainment," Working Papers 2203, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
    17. 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.
    18. Young-Joo Kim, 2020. "Born to be more educated? Birth order and schooling," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 165-180, March.
    19. Cláudia Custódio & Stephan Siegel, 2020. "Are chief executive officers more likely to be first-borns?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(6), pages 1-17, June.
    20. Rita Ginja & Jenny Jans & Arizo Karimi, 2020. "Parental Leave Benefits, Household Labor Supply, and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 261-320.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    baby boom; birth order; educational attainment; cohort size;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:102426. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.