Men With Brothers Choose Higher Paying Occupations

A new twin study looks at how the gender of a sibling affects labor market outcomes for women and men.

By Kate Phillipa Clark

Do your twin have a same-sex sibling? A new study shows that a same-sex sibling increases earnings as compared to an opposite-sex sibling. The study was published in Labour Economics in October 2018. Labour Economics is the Official Journal of the European Association of Labour Economists. The researchers from Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands used a large sample of singletons and a sample of dizygotic twins to determine whether first-borns are affected by the gender of their second-born sibling. Dizygotic twins are also called fraternal twins. They stem from two different eggs.

Sisters decrease unemployment

The researchers found that a same-sex sibling increases men’s earnings as compared to an opposite-sex sibling. The results for women were similar but the effects were smaller in magnitude and less robust. The researchers also found that sisters decrease unemployment for women. Their hypothesis was that the income result for men could be driven by competition between brothers, and that the decreased unemployment with sisters could be due to shared job search networks.


About the Author

Kate Phillipa Clark

Kate Phillipa Clark has a bachelor in Journalism and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication. She is an identical twin and so is her father.


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