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Siblings and Educational Attainment in West Germany

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  • Blaess, Virginie

Abstract

Individual decisions on education are still an important topic in social sciences research. Our goal is an analysis of the impact of siblings on educational attainment in West Germany. Theories of educational decisions in a family context suggest several possible effects of siblings. During the 1990s, several authors analyzed this relationship for the United States and came up with contradictory results on the relative importance of different factors. Consequently, an empirical analysis is required, which is provided in this paper based on data from the GSOEP. In order to control for unobservable heterogeneity in educational decisions, several empirical specifications including propensity score matching are tested. The results suggest that boys are favored by their parents relative to girls. Furthermore, the gender of their siblings shows no significant impact on the educational attainment of boys, while a significant effect is found for girls. Finally, the educational attainment of an elder sibling shows a significant and positive effect on education decisions of the second child.

Suggested Citation

  • Blaess, Virginie, 2005. "Siblings and Educational Attainment in West Germany," Discussion Papers 2005,001E, University of Erfurt, Faculty of Economics, Law and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:erfdps:2005001e
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    2. Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2001. "Estimating the Returns to Education: Models, Methods and Results," CEE Discussion Papers 0016, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    3. Nathan D. Grawe & Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 45-58, Summer.
    4. Thomas Bauer & Ira Gang, 2001. "Sibling Rivalry in Educational Attainment: The German Case," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(2), pages 237-255, June.
    5. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "Evaluating the impact of education on earnings in the UK: Models, methods and results from the NCDS," IFS Working Papers W03/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Case, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-563.
    7. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1997. "Estimates Of The Returns To Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons, And Brothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 1-9, February.
    8. Lena Lindahl, 2008. "Do birth order and family size matter for intergenerational income mobility? Evidence from Sweden," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(17), pages 2239-2257.
    9. Robert Kaestner, 1997. "Are Brothers Really Better? Sibling Sex Composition and Educational Achievement Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 250-284.
    10. Iacovou, Maria, 2001. "Family composition and children's educational outcomes," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-12, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    11. Schnabel, Isabel & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1998. "Does family background matter? : Returns to education and family characteristics in Germany," Papers 98-60, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    12. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unobservable heterogeneity; matching; ordered-probit;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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