Brothers vs. Sisters: The Effect of Siblings' Gender on an Individual's Labor Market Performance

17/12/2019 |  Mazar Yuval, Zilber Uri
All Press Releases In Subject:
Welfare Policy and Labor Market
Abstract

This study examines—for the first time in Israel—the extent to which gender composition of siblings in the family influences their performance in the labor market.  In particular, this work compares women with adults brothers to women with adult sisters, and men with adult brothers to men with adult sisters. The paper expands the conversation regarding the environment's influence on wages.

Using data on non-ultra-Orthodox Jews born between 1975 and 1985, who were born last after two brothers or two sisters, we found that the gender of previous siblings has a statistically significant effect on wage only in certain population groups.  Women of Ashkenazic1 descent who have two older sisters earn 7.0 percent more than women who have brothers, after controlling for other variables that may have an impact on wage.  A similar effect was found for men from Ashkenazic descent.  Most of the effect that we found for women was among those with high socioeconomic standing (women who live in localities in socioeconomic clusters 16­–20), while for men, the effect was most prominent among those with lower and medium socioeconomic standing (those living in localities in socioeconomic clusters 1–15).  We did not find robust results for women or men from Sephardic2 descent or mixed families.

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