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Birth Order and Schooling: Theory and Evidence from Twelve Sub-Saharan Countries
Authors: Tenikue, Michel; Verheyden, Bertrand
Source: Journal of African Economies , 19(4): 459-495(37); DOI:
Topic(s): Child labor
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: AUG 2010
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of birth order on the discrimination between siblings in terms of schooling and child labour. Our dynamic model shows how birth order interacts with current and future consumption and highlights the crucial role of household wealth. Whereas in poor families liquidity constraints when children are young penalise earlier born children, richer families tend to invest more in the education of these children. We test these predictions by using recent Demographic and Health Surveys data sets for twelve Sub-Saharan countries. Controlling for household fixed effects, gender and age, our results confirm that the education levels of earlier born children are ceteris paribus lower than their later born siblings in poor households, whereas earlier-born children are more educated in richer ones.