First-born children in West-Germany are often better educated than their later born brothers and sisters. This inequality because of birth-order is comparable to the impact of socio-economical factors on children’s educational achievements.
One reason for this “birth-order-effect”, which is stronger for boys then for girls, could be that having more children means that parents can give less time and attention to each one of them.
These are results from a recent study of Juho Härkönen (Stockholm University / University of Turku) using sibling data from the German Life History Study. He concludes that “Overall, these findings underline the importance of birth order in shaping socioeconomic achievement and, more generally, of the factors that affect the experiences and inequalities of children growing up in the same family”.
Read the study “Birth Order Effects on Educational Attainment and Educational Transitions in West Germany”