Effects of Sibling Size and Structure Revisited: New Evidence of the Allocation of Family Educational Resources in China
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
A large body of literature has been devoted to the study of the relationship between sibling and education outcomes (usually years of schooling or degree attainment) using adult samples (Angrist et al., 2010; Kessler, 1991; Zheng, 2013). Prior studies fail to address the effect of sibling size/structure on intra-household resources allocation for education, which leaves the mechanism of sibling effect an unsolved puzzle. This study utilized China Education Panel Survey, a nationally representative survey starting with the 7th and 9th graders in 2013-2014 academic year, to examine the distribution of education resources within Chinese households regarding sibling size and structure. Based on the baseline survey data of 2013/2014, we divide family educational resources into three groups: financial investment, parental involvement, and family environment. We use Propensity Score Matching to take care of group imbalance and try to identify the causal effect of sibling size/structure on individual’s access to family resources. We repeat PSM three times for (1) only child; (2) having brothers; (3) having sisters. The OLS results are also listed for comparison.
Our preliminary analysis shows that (1) sibling size has a negative effect on the access of educational resources. Children who have siblings receive significantly less financial investment, especially in the rural area. Meanwhile, parents less frequently check children’s homework or provide guidance on children’s study if they have more than one child. Children who have siblings are less likely to have a personal desk at home, while their relationships with parents are not so good as those only-child. (2) Having brothers results in less financial investment no matter for boys or girls. Having sisters provides boys more financial investment from parents. For girls, having brothers leads to a worse relationship with parents, but it provides boys a better relationship with father. Having brothers or sisters both refuse access to a personal desk at home. (3) After controlling for sibling size and birth order, sibling structure effect reveals that boys are preferred. The sibling size effects above are smaller for boys.