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Sibship size and educational attainment of Canadian baby boomers

Maryam Dilmaghani (Economics, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 15 September 2020

Issue publication date: 1 July 2021



The present study assesses how sibship size affects child quality as measured by educational attainment.


The data are from the Canadian General Social Surveys (GSS) of 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1995. The sample is restricted to the individuals born in Canada between 1946 and 1965, that is, the baby-boom generation. In addition to controlling for parental education, the sibship size is instrumented by a non-binary variable created based on the sex composition of the sibship. While most previous studies have pooled both genders, the present paper produces by gender estimates


The OLS estimates are statistically significant, negative and moderately large for both male and female baby boomers. When the sibship size is instrumented, the estimates indicate that one additional sibling had reduced the educational attainment of male baby boomers by almost half a year. No causal effect for the sibship size is found for female baby boomers.


This is the first paper on the effects of sibship size on educational attainment, using Canadian data.



Compliance with ethical standardsFunding: This study was not funded.Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Dilmaghani, M. (2021), "Sibship size and educational attainment of Canadian baby boomers", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 996-1019.



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