Education, birth order and family size

Jesper Bagger, Javier A Birchenall, Hani Mansour, Sergio Urzua*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article introduces a framework to study parental investments in the presence of birth order preferences and/or human capital cost differentials across children. The framework yields canonical models as special cases and delivers sharp testable predictions concerning how parental investments respond to an exogenous change in family size in the presence of birth order effects. These predictions characterize a generalised quantity–quality trade-off. Danish administrative data confirm our theory’s predictions. We find that for any given parity, the human capital profile of children in smaller families dominates that of large families, and that the average child’s education decreases as family size increases, even after taking birth order effects into consideration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Economic Journal
Early online date15 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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