Older Sisters and Younger Brothers: The Impact of Siblings on Preference for Competition

28 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2014

See all articles by Hiroko Okudaira

Hiroko Okudaira

Okayama University

Yusuke Kinari

Kyushu University

Noriko Mizutani

Institute for Research on Household Economics

Fumio Ohtake

Osaka University - Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research

Akira Kawaguchi

Doshisha University

Date Written: March 14, 2014

Abstract

Studies in psychology have long argued the possibility that sibling structure, such as birth order and the gender of siblings, shapes one’s feminine and masculine personality traits, such as a preference for competition. In light of recent developments in the economics literature on the gender gap, this implies that familial environment could explain why some women do opt for competition, while the vast majority of women do not and, thus, are underrepresented on the career ladder. By conducting a controlled experiment on Japanese high school students, this study quantifies the impact of sibling structure on one’s preference for competition, and examines whether a long-debated sibling hypothesis in psychology is supported from the viewpoint of experimental economics. Consistent with the hypothesis, our results reveal that men with older sisters were significantly less likely to enter a competitive environment compared with only sons. This effect is comparable in size to the effect of being female on the decision to compete. Our study also found moderate evidence that women with younger brothers were more likely to compete than only daughters.

Keywords: Sibling competition, Gender gap, Preference for competition, Experiment

Suggested Citation

Okudaira, Hiroko and Kinari, Yusuke and Mizutani, Noriko and Ohtake, Fumio and Kawaguchi, Akira, Older Sisters and Younger Brothers: The Impact of Siblings on Preference for Competition (March 14, 2014). ISER Discussion Paper No. 896, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2408906

Hiroko Okudaira (Contact Author)

Okayama University ( email )

2-1-1, Tsushimanaka, Okayama-shi
Okayama
Japan
+81-86-251-7542 (Phone)
+81-86-251-7542 (Fax)

Yusuke Kinari

Kyushu University ( email )

6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashiku
Fukuoka, Fukuoka 812-8581
Japan

Noriko Mizutani

Institute for Research on Household Economics ( email )

2-3-7, Kudan-kita
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, 102-0073
Japan

Fumio Ohtake

Osaka University - Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research ( email )

1-7 Machikaneyamacho
Toyonaka
Osaka, 560-0043
Japan

Akira Kawaguchi

Doshisha University ( email )

Karasuma-Imadegawa Kamigyo
Kyoto 602-8580
Japan

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Downloads
204
Abstract Views
2,235
rank
203,390
PlumX Metrics