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Birth order and the gender gap in educational attainment

Jaqueline Oliveira ()
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Jaqueline Oliveira: Rhodes College

Review of Economics of the Household, 2019, vol. 17, issue 3, No 2, 775-803

Abstract: Abstract While studies of birth order effects on human capital formation for developed countries abound, less is known about these effects in a developing country context. Harnessing rich childbearing history data on senior parents in China, I provide within-family estimates of the impact of birth order on adult children’s completed schooling, emphasizing heterogenous effects across gender. I find evidence that, holding the size of the family fixed, a daughter’s schooling decreases with the number of younger siblings, while a son’s schooling increases with the number of younger siblings. Birth order differences in age at marriage and provision of intergenerational support to parents are possible explanations for the observed patterns in schooling. My findings suggest that the one-child policy, despite having contributed to worsening the sex-ratio imbalance in China, could have helped reduce the gender gap in educational attainment.

Keywords: Human Capital; Gender Gap; Birth Order; Family Planning Policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J10 J13 J26 O12 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-018-9416-2

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