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Is Marriage Always Good for Children?: Evidence from Families Affected by Incarceration

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  • Keith Finlay
  • David Neumark

Abstract

Never-married motherhood is associated with worse educational outcomes for children. But this association may reflect other factors that also determine family structure, rather than causal effects. We use incarceration rates for men as instrumental variables in estimating the effect of never-married motherhood on the high school dropout rate of black and His-panic children. We find that unobserved factors drive the negative relationship between never-married motherhood and child education, at least for children of women whose marriage decisions are affected by incarceration of men. For Hispanics we find evidence that these children actually may be better off living with a never-married mother.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 45 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1046-1088

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:i:4:p:1046-1088

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Frimmel, Wolfgang & Halla, Martin & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2012. "Can Pro-Marriage Policies Work? An Analysis of Marginal Marriages," IZA Discussion Papers 6704, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kasey Buckles & Joseph Price, 2013. "Selection and the Marriage Premium for Infant Health," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1315-1339, August.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Robynn Cox & Sally Wallace, 2013. "The Impact of Incarceration on Food Insecurity among Households with Children," Working Papers 1448, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  5. V. Joseph Hotz & Juan Pantano, 2013. "Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance," NBER Working Papers 19542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hotz, V. Joseph & Pantano, Juan, 2013. "Strategic Parenting, Birth Order and School Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7680, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Marco Francesconi & Stephen Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Childhood family structure and schooling outcomes: evidence for Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 1073-1103, June.
  8. Jungmin Lee, 2013. "The Impact of a Mandatory Cooling-off Period on Divorce," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 227 - 243.
  9. Terry-Ann Craigie, 2008. "Effects of Paternal Presence and Family Stability on Child Cognitive Performance," Working Papers 1015, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  10. Huang, Chien-Chung & Postmus, Judy L. & Vikse, Juliann H. & Wang, Lih-Rong, 2013. "Economic abuse, physical violence, and union formation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 780-786.

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