Do large sibships really lead to lower educational attainment? New evidence from quasi-experimental variation in couples’ reproductive capacity
- M. M. Jaeger
- Acta Sociologica, 51, 217-235.
We study whether having several siblings decreases the level of educational performance of adolescents and whether this phenomenon can be compensated by other factors such as the economic or cultural resources of the parents. Based on this compensation model, parental resources should be associated with children's educational attainments more strongly in families with a higher rather than a lower number of children. We analyzed the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) data from 20 Western countries and found that better family wealth, an increased level of parental education, and a higher parental occupational status were associated with increased educational attainments more strongly among 15-year-old children who have siblings than among children without siblings. The same effect was not found in the case of family cultural possessions. Although parental resources may matter more in larger families than in smaller families, some types of resources are more important than others regarding compensation.