Using panel data from the 2001 cohort of the Japanese Longitudinal Survey of Newborns in the 21st Century, this paper examines whether financial investments in children differ by child's birth order and gender. This study is one of a few studies that use information on actual expenditures on the child under study to infer birth order and gender effects rather than using child outcomes such as educational attainment and health. Moreover, we examine specific types of expenditure on children such as expenditure on regular schooling, extra-curricular activities, extra-educational activities, and pocket money. It is found that in Japan, parents spend more money on (a) their first-born child; (b) their male children when they are of preschool age; and (c) their female children when they are of school age. In contrast, parents' spending on education-related activities outside regular schools is higher for their first-born child and for girls. However, this gender effect is limited to three children families. Spending on extra-curricular activities and regular schooling is higher for girls and for first-born children. Interestingly, girls receive more pocket money than boys, whereas a first-born child receives less pocket money compared to a later-born child of the same age. With a few exceptions, overall, we observe mostly first-born preference and more of a 'daughter preference' than 'son preference' in parental investments among Japanese children.
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