Discussion paper / Universität Erfurt, Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät 2005,001E
Individual decisions on education are still an important topic in social sciences research. Our goal is an analysis of the impact of siblings on educational attainment in West Germany. Theories of educational decisions in a family context suggest several possible effects of siblings. During the 1990s, several authors analyzed this relationship for the United States and came up with contradictory results on the relative importance of different factors. Consequently, an empirical analysis is required, which is provided in this paper based on data from the GSOEP. In order to control for unobservable heterogeneity in educational decisions, several empirical specifications including propensity score matching are tested. The results suggest that boys are favored by their parents relative to girls. Furthermore, the gender of their siblings shows no significant impact on the educational attainment of boys, while a significant effect is found for girls. Finally, the educational attainment of an elder sibling shows a significant and positive effect on education decisions of the second child.