Study shows birth order matters when it comes to finances

The eldest sibling is more frugal than the youngest.
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Oct 27, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

If you’re always bailing your little brother out of his financial messes, you’re probably not alone. Surprisingly, it may not be his fault either. New research shows it could just be a matter of timing.

Economists at The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina found that last-born siblings are bigger financial risk takers and much more willing to gamble for a higher payoff than their older siblings. The study also shows they are less willing to wait for a payoff unless the return was much higher. Research revealed that first-born siblings besides being less likely to take risks are also more patient when making money decisions.

Participants in the study were given real money, provided through a National Science Foundation grant, and were presented different scenarios in which to invest. Additionally, gender and race were proved not to be as strong an indicator as birth order in financial matters.