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Author: Barnwell Menard, Jean-Louis
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Barnwell Menard, Jean-Louis
Essays in Applied Microeconomics
Ph.D. Dissertation, McGill University, 2022
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Birth Order; Child Development; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Parental Investments; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This thesis studies household and education economics, focusing on child development, parental investment, housing, and schooling. The first chapter studies the role of parental investments in explaining cognitive skills disparities across children from the same family. Siblings compete for limited parental time and financial resources, so that investments available to each child decline as the number of children in the family increases. This resource dilution is present for secondborns throughout their life, whereas firstborns have the natural advantage of experiencing a period alone with parents. This paper shows that resource dilution is a quantitively convincing mechanism to explain why firstborn children tend to outperform their secondborn siblings on cognitive exams. Structural estimates of the child quality production function suggest an extra (counterfactual) year alone with parents for the firstborn leads to a 0.12 standard deviation increase of the birth order gap in child quality between the ages of 6 and 12. This effect accounts for a little over one third of the observed gap in cognitive ability test scores for a US representative sample of two-child families of white mothers from the (C)NLSY79. Investment spillovers between siblings add to the dynamic impacts of resource dilution and make the uplift of the firstborn's relative position persist over time.
Bibliography Citation
Barnwell Menard, Jean-Louis. Essays in Applied Microeconomics. Ph.D. Dissertation, McGill University, 2022.