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First Among Equals? How Birth Order Shapes Child Development

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  • Houmark, Mikkel Aagaard

Abstract

I study how birth order affects children’s academic achievement, personality, and well-being in elementary school. Earlier-born children not only perform better in reading and mathematics throughout elementary school, but they are also more conscientious, agreeable, and emotionally stable, and report higher well-being. Reading ability and conscientiousness – crucial skills for success – appear particularly sensitive to the early childhood environment. These effects are remarkably stable across different groups. I also provide new evidence on the quantity-quality trade-off by showing that family size has a negative effect on earlierborn siblings which enlarges the birth order effect by disproportionately affecting younger siblings.

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  • Houmark, Mikkel Aagaard, 2023. "First Among Equals? How Birth Order Shapes Child Development," MPRA Paper 119325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:119325
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skill Formation; Parental Investments; Early Childhood; Sensitive Period; Personality; Academic Achievement; Well-being;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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