London: If you are an elder sibling, you may already assume that first-born children are smarter than younger siblings. But new research by the University of Edinburgh asks what many families have long pondered - and it turns out that the answer is more complicated than you might think.
The research by the University of Edinburgh has found that first-born children have superior thinking skills in comparison to their younger siblings.
Economists at the University of Edinburgh, Analysis Group and the University of Sydney examined survey data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the researchers found that first-borns scored higher than siblings in IQ tests as early as age one.
The study, published in the Journal of Human Resources, observed nearly 5,000 children from pre-birth to age 14, with children assessed every two years.
What's more, the research found that all children got the same degree of emotional support.
Lead on the research, Dr Ana Nuevo-Chiquero, said the results could explain differences in achievement observed in education and employment down the line.
Dr Nuevo-Chiquero, of Edinburgh University's school of economics, said, "Our results suggest that broad shifts in parental behaviour are a plausible explanation for the observed birth order differences in education and labour market outcomes."
Typically, so say past studies, first-born kids are usually more successful and ambitious.
One conducted by the University of Essex found that the eldest child is 16 percent more likely to pursue higher education.
But they're also more likely to be short-sighted, so it's swings and roundabouts, right?