Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/166019
Authors: 
Black, Sandra E.
Grönqvist, Erik
Öckert, Björn
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2016:18
Abstract: 
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 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 boys among the older siblings. When we investigate possible mechanisms, we find that the negative effects of birth order are driven by post-natal environmental factors. We also find evidence of lower parental human capital investments in later-born children.
Subjects: 
birth order
non-cognitive abilities
managerial skills
JEL: 
I00
J10
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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