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The Impact of Family Composition on Educational Achievement

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Abstract

Parents preferring sons tend to go on to have more children un- til one or more boys are born, and to concentrate investment in boys for a given sibsize. Therefore, having a brother may affect child outcomes in two ways: indirectly, by decreasing sibsize, and directly, where sibsize remains constant. We develop an identi- fication strategy that allows us to separate these two effects. We then apply this to capture the heterogeneous effects of male siblings in both direct and indirect channels, using 0.8 million Taiwanese first-borns. Our empirical evidence indicates that neither effect is important in explaining first-born boys' education levels. In con- trast, both effects for first-born girls are evident but go in opposite directions, resulting in a near-zero total effect which has previously been a measure of gender bias. These results offer new evidence of sibling rivalry and gender bias in family settings that has not been detected in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Stacey H. Chen & Yen-Chien Chen & Jin-Tan Liu, 2013. "The Impact of Family Composition on Educational Achievement," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 13-A013, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, revised Aug 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:sin:wpaper:13-a013
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    File URL: http://www.econ.sinica.edu.tw/UpFiles/2013092817175327692/Seminar_PDF2013093010102890633/13-A013(all)new.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaoyan Lei & Yan Shen & James P. Smith & Guangsu Zhou, 2017. "Sibling gender composition’s effect on education: evidence from China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 569-590, April.
    2. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:6:p:1087-1124 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sibling rivalry and spillover; direct and indirect effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • 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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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