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The Impact of Family Composition on Educational Achievement

Stacey H. Chen, Yen-Chien Chen, Jin-Tan Liu

NBER Working Paper No. 20443
Issued in August 2014, Revised in November 2016
NBER Program(s):, Economics of Education Program

Parents preferring sons tend to go on to have more children until a boy is born, and to concentrate investment in boys for a given number of children (sibsize). Thus, having a brother may affect child education in two ways: an indirect effect by keeping sibsize lower and a direct rivalry effect where sibsize remains constant. We estimate the direct and indirect effects of a next brother on the first child’s education conditional on potential sibsize. We address endogenous sibsize using twins. We find new evidence of sibling rivalry and gender bias that cannot be detected by conventional methods.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20443

Published: Published online before print July 7, 2017, doi: 10.3368/jhr.54.1.0915.7401R1 J. Human Resources July 7, 2017 0915-7401r1rev

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