This paper models the probability of 15-year-old children missing school or being late. The paper sets out to uncover the effects of family background and birth order on attendance. Looking at birth order effects allows one to test Sulloway’s “Born to Rebel” hypothesis that older siblings are more compliant than their younger siblings. Using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for Germany, Korea, Ireland, Mexico, Russia and the United States, the evidence here provides little support for the hypothesis in general. The paper finds, somewhat surprisingly, that the socio-economic background of the teenagers has very little effect either. Those from single parent households are however more likely to have poor attendance. However their experience of -or attitude- to school has significant effects as has class size, which is negatively associated with better attendance.
This paper forms part of the Policy Evaluation Program at ISSC.