A Dynamic View of Childhood Sibship Size Effects on Education

Kammi Schmeer, Ohio State University

This paper provides a life course view of the effects of the number of co-resident siblings (“sibship size”) on individuals’ education during childhood. Using panel data from the Philippines, I estimate the effects of number of younger and older siblings, and their movement into and out of the household, on childhood education through longitudinal models that control for time-invariant unobserved differences among children. The findings highlight both negative and positive effects of sibship size, with important distinctions between the effects of number of older and younger siblings, as well as additive effects of gaining and losing siblings. I also find important differences in the effects of level and change in sibship size across stages of childhood. The results suggest the need to consider sibship size at multiple points in childhood, the residential mobility of siblings, and the issue of timing when assessing the effects of childhood sibship size on individual well-being.

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Presented in Session 123: Education: Causes and Effects