NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Erik Grönqvist

Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market
and Education Policy
Kyrkogårdsgatan 6
Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
SWEDEN

E-Mail: erik.gronqvist@ifau.uu.se

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2017Born to Lead? The Effect of Birth Order on Non-Cognitive Abilities
with Sandra E. Black, Björn Öckert: w23393
We study the effect of birth order on personality traits among men using population data on enlistment records and occupations for Sweden. We find that earlier born men are more emotionally stable, persistent, socially outgoing, willing to assume responsibility, and able to take initiative than later-borns. In addition, we find that birth order affects occupational sorting; first-born children are more likely to be managers, while later-born children are more likely to be self-employed. We also find that earlier born children are more likely to be in occupations that require leadership ability, social ability and the Big Five personality traits. Finally, we find a significant role of sex composition within the family. Later-born boys suffer an additional penalty the larger the share of boy...
 
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