What is it about?
We investigate the link between birth order and career outcomes. Specifically, we show that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are more likely to be the first-born, i.e., oldest, child of their families relative to what one would expect if birth order did not matter for career outcomes. Both male and female CEOs are more likely to be first-born. However, the first-born advantage seems to largely reflect the absence of an older brother, but not of an older sister.
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Why is it important?
Birth order used to play an important role for leadership succession in many cultures, often favoring the first born child or son (primogeniture). This social norm might continue to affect parental attention and investment with respect to earlier and later born children in the same family. At the same time, older and younger siblings in the same family likely play different roles. That is, birth order, as well as family composition, might therefore be important mechanisms through which differences early in life have long reaching consequences.
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This page is a summary of: Are chief executive officers more likely to be first-borns?, PLoS ONE, June 2020, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234987.
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