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The Early Bird gets the Worm? Birth Order Effects in a Dynamic Model of the Family

Birth order effects are found in empirical work, but lack solid theoretical foundations in economics. Our new modeling approach to children provides this. Each child’s needs change as it grows, and births are sequential. Each child has the same genetic make-up and parents do not favor one child over the other. Parental child care time lowers the caregiver’s current and future wages; this opportunity cost varies across time. Benefits also vary, and when parental child care is a public input co-resident children allow economies of scope in child care. Birth order effects emerge from the changing benefits and costs.

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File URL: http://www.uvic.ca/socialsciences/economics/assets/docs/discussion/ddp0801.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Victoria in its series Department Discussion Papers with number 0801.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 23 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vic:vicddp:0801
Note: ISSN 1914-2838
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Web page: http://web.uvic.ca/econ

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  1. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor & Schlosser, Analia, 2006. "New Evidence on the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 5668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "Parental Leave and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 6554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nezih Guner & Jeremy Greenwood & John A. Knowles, 2000. "Women on Welfare: A Macroeconomic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 383-388, May.
  6. 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 413-26, October.
  7. Steven Stern & Maxim Engers, . "Long-Term Care and Family Bargaining," Virginia Economics Online Papers 320, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  8. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Cornes, Richard C, 1983. "Independence of Allocative Efficiency from Distribution in the Theory of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1753-65, November.
  9. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The more the merrier? The effect of family size and birth order on children's education," Open Access publications 10197/310, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  12. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  13. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
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