Sandra Black, Sanni Breining, David Figlio, Jonathan Guryan, Krzysztof Karbownik, Helena Skyt Nielsen, Jeffrey Roth, Marianne Simonsen, 08 July 2017

Despite the policy importance of understanding the relationships between them, very little evidence exists on the causal effects siblings have on one another. This column investigates outcomes for families in which the third-born child has a disability, and shows that the oldest children have better educational outcomes than the middle children, who due to birth order are more likely to be more affected by a common sibling spillover. We may be able to measure greater returns to investments that relieve the effects of negative shocks to children if we consider the effects on siblings too.

Claudia Olivetti, Barbara Petrongolo, 03 June 2017

Family-oriented policies – such as parental leave, childcare support, and flexible work arrangements – are in place in all high-income countries, as well as several developing countries. This column assesses the labour market impacts of these policies, based on a review of the literature and data on 30 OECD countries over 45 years. While there is no clear consensus, a general theme is that policies that make it easier to be a working mother, such as subsidised childcare, seem to have better labour market outcomes than extending parental leave.

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