A young boy cools off in the water from a playground sprinkler in the Brooklyn borough of New York, July 15, 2013.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Is the first born smarter?

Updated

Older siblings have earned the bragging rights!

A new study finds that first-born children perform better in school, have higher IQ’s, and tend to be viewed as more accomplished by their parents.  And this time, it really is the parents’ fault.

The study released by economists V. Joseph Hotz and Juan Pantano explains that it comes down to tough love. First-time parents are scared of messing up and are trying to set a reputation for how they will raise their children.  Many are tougher and have higher expectations on their first born. 

According to the study 33.8% of mothers say their first-born was one of the best students in the class, and only 1.8% put their child at the bottom of the pack. “We find that after controlling for measures of a child’s ability taken at earlier ages, birth order effects in school performance persist,” the study says. Researchers then looked at the second, third, and fourth born children and find those percentagse fall.

“Further research is needed to rule out alternative explanations associated with changing cost and technologies of alternative parenting strategies as siblings grow,” the study says.  ”We believe that results indicate that parental reputation dynamics may explain part of the observed birth order effects in school performance.” 

Is the first born smarter?

Updated