Sibship Size and Status Attainment Across Contexts: Evidence from the Netherlands, 1840-1925

Hilde Bras*, Jan Kok, C.A. (Kees) Mandemakers

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of sibship size on status attainment across different contexts and subgroups. Resource dilution theory predicts that with larger sibship size, children’s status outcomes fall. However, the empirical record has shown that this is not always the case. In this paper we have tested three alternative hypotheses for neutral or even positive effects of sibship size on status attainment on the basis of a large-scale registry database covering the period of industrialization and fertility decline in the Netherlands in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century. Our findings offer support for the family developmental cycle, buffering by kin groups, and socio-economic development as alternative explanations to the resource dilution hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-104
Number of pages32
JournalDemographic Research
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13-Jul-2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • FAMILY-SIZE
  • EDUCATIONAL-ATTAINMENT
  • BIRTH-ORDER
  • CHILDRENS EDUCATION
  • INVESTMENT
  • SIBLINGS
  • MOBILITY

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