The Effects of Birth Order on Educational Transitions in West Germany

Juho Härkönen, Stockholm University

This study analyzes the effect of birth order on educational transitions. After decades of varied degrees of enthusiasm and skepticism, recent research has increasingly reported effects of birth order on a host of psychological and socioeconomic outcomes. The objective of this study is to contribute to understanding when in the educational career birth order effects are most relevant by analyzing these effects on educational transitions made at different points of the schooling career, with particular interest on whether the effects vary in strength at different educational transition points. We analyze life history data that includes information on educational attainment of all siblings in West Germany, a country where pupils are tracked into different educational careers early in life. Preliminary findings stress the importance of birth order on educational attainment also in the West German context.

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Presented in Session 83: Schooling and the Transition to Adulthood