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The effect of a sibling's gender on earnings and family formation

Peter, Noemi ; Lundborg, Petter LU ; Mikkelsen, Sara LU and Webbink, Dinand (2018) In Labour Economics 54. p.61-78
Abstract

We examine how the gender of a sibling affects labor market outcomes and family formation. Identification is complicated by parental preferences: if parents prefer certain sex compositions over others, children’ s gender affects not only the outcomes of other children but also the existence of potential additional children. We employ two empirical strategies that both address this problem. First, we use a large sample of singletons to estimate whether first-borns are affected by the gender of their second-born sibling. Second, we look at a sample of dizygotic (i.e. non-identical) twins. We find that a same-sex sibling increases men's earnings and family formation outcomes (marriage and fertility), as compared to an opposite-sex sibling.... (More)

We examine how the gender of a sibling affects labor market outcomes and family formation. Identification is complicated by parental preferences: if parents prefer certain sex compositions over others, children’ s gender affects not only the outcomes of other children but also the existence of potential additional children. We employ two empirical strategies that both address this problem. First, we use a large sample of singletons to estimate whether first-borns are affected by the gender of their second-born sibling. Second, we look at a sample of dizygotic (i.e. non-identical) twins. We find that a same-sex sibling increases men's earnings and family formation outcomes (marriage and fertility), as compared to an opposite-sex sibling. The results for women are similar but the effects are smaller in magnitude and less robust. We argue that the income result for men could be driven by competition between brothers, as we find that men with brothers choose higher paying occupations. For women, we find suggestive evidence that the income premium may come partly from lower unemployment, which could be due to shared job search networks. The effects on family formation might stem from differential parental treatment for men, and from competition between sisters for women.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Fertility, Income, Sex composition, Sibling gender, Twins
in
Labour Economics
volume
54
pages
18 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85050565218
ISSN
0927-5371
DOI
10.1016/j.labeco.2018.06.006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2fc7cf6c-a38c-41c0-aba6-0029f6460e2b
date added to LUP
2018-08-15 08:38:10
date last changed
2020-10-07 05:59:13
@article{2fc7cf6c-a38c-41c0-aba6-0029f6460e2b,
  abstract     = {<p>We examine how the gender of a sibling affects labor market outcomes and family formation. Identification is complicated by parental preferences: if parents prefer certain sex compositions over others, children’ s gender affects not only the outcomes of other children but also the existence of potential additional children. We employ two empirical strategies that both address this problem. First, we use a large sample of singletons to estimate whether first-borns are affected by the gender of their second-born sibling. Second, we look at a sample of dizygotic (i.e. non-identical) twins. We find that a same-sex sibling increases men's earnings and family formation outcomes (marriage and fertility), as compared to an opposite-sex sibling. The results for women are similar but the effects are smaller in magnitude and less robust. We argue that the income result for men could be driven by competition between brothers, as we find that men with brothers choose higher paying occupations. For women, we find suggestive evidence that the income premium may come partly from lower unemployment, which could be due to shared job search networks. The effects on family formation might stem from differential parental treatment for men, and from competition between sisters for women.</p>},
  author       = {Peter, Noemi and Lundborg, Petter and Mikkelsen, Sara and Webbink, Dinand},
  issn         = {0927-5371},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  pages        = {61--78},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Labour Economics},
  title        = {The effect of a sibling's gender on earnings and family formation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2018.06.006},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.labeco.2018.06.006},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2018},
}