Low pay? Blame your older siblings!

Low pay? Blame your older siblings!

Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. Your older brother was the top student, school captain of the tennis team, president of the debate team, and now a CEO in a huge company earning millions. You could never beat him in school, and now you can’t beat him at work. Guess what? Sometimes, it all just boils down to birth order.

According to findings from jobs website CareerBuilder.com, first-born kids are the most likely to earn six figures and hold a top executive position among workers with siblings.

Meanwhile, middle kids are the most likely to report holding an entry-level spot and earning less than US$35,000 (S$44,313), while siblings born last are the most likely to work in middle management.

“The first-born child is usually in a leadership role in the household and it continues into their career,” Michael Erwin, senior career advisor at CareerBuilder.com, was quoted in Market Watch. “The middle child tends to be more of the peacekeeper. The last born is more of the free spirit.”

Firstborns, before their siblings arrive, benefit from more parental investment, such as time spent talking.

“When a sibling comes along, one has a rival for that attention and one is going to experience an intellectual environment that is being diluted,” said Frank Sulloway, an adjunct professor in the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley.

However, not all is doom and gloom for those who aren’t the first-born child.

“Earnings are determined by a lot of different factors. So laterborns should not give up,” noted Sandra Black, an economics professor at the University of Texas, Austin.


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