Are Economic Preferences Shaped by the Family Context? The Impact of Birth Order and Siblings' Sex Composition on Economic Preferences

50 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by Lena Detlefsen

Lena Detlefsen

Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Andreas Friedl

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg

Katharina Lima de Miranda

Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Ulrich Schmidt

University of Kiel - Institute of Economics

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

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Abstract

The formation of economic preferences in childhood and adolescence has long-term consequences for life-time outcomes. We study in an experiment with 525 teenagers how both birth order and siblings’ sex composition affect risk, time and social preferences. We find that second born children are typically less patient, less risk averse, and more trusting. However, siblings' sex composition interacts importantly with birth order effects. Second born children are more risk taking only with same-sex siblings. For trust and trustworthiness, birth order effects are larger with mixed-sex siblings than in the single-sex case. Only for patience, siblings’ sex composition does not matter.

Keywords: birth order, siblings' sex composition, economic preferences, experiment

JEL Classification: C93, D10, D90, J12

Suggested Citation

Detlefsen, Lena and Friedl, Andreas and Lima de Miranda, Katharina and Schmidt, Ulrich and Sutter, Matthias, Are Economic Preferences Shaped by the Family Context? The Impact of Birth Order and Siblings' Sex Composition on Economic Preferences. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11949. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301700

Lena Detlefsen (Contact Author)

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

Kiellinie 66
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein 24105
Germany

Andreas Friedl

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, Bavaria 91054
Germany

Katharina Lima de Miranda

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

Kiellinie 66
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein 24105
Germany

Ulrich Schmidt

University of Kiel - Institute of Economics ( email )

Olshausenstrasse 40
24098 Kiel, 24098
Germany

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

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