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Does Parental Divorce Affect Adolescents' Cognitive Development? Evidence from Longitudinal Data

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  • Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna

    ()
    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Vuri, Daniela

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

In this paper we analyse data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 to investigate whether experiencing parental divorce during adolescence reduces measured cognitive ability. To account for the potential endogeneity of parental divorce we employ a difference-in-differences model that relies on observing teenagers' outcomes before and after divorce. We find that parental divorce does not negatively affect teenagers' cognitive development. Our results also suggest that cross-section estimates overstate the detrimental effect of parental divorce.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1206.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2007, 69(3), 321-338
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1206

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Related research

Keywords: difference in differences; cognitive development; divorce;

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References

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  1. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 554, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  3. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Corak, Miles, 2001. "Death and Divorce: The Long-Term Consequences of Parental Loss on Adolescents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 682-715, July.
  6. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  7. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  8. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
  9. Sander, William, 1986. "On the Economics of Marital Instability in the United Kingdom," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 370-81, November.
  10. Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
  11. Andrew Cherlin & Kathleen Kiernan & P. Chase-Lansdale, 1995. "Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 299-318, August.
  12. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," Research Papers, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 1828, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  13. Manski, C.F. & Sandefur, G.D. & Mclanahan, S. & Powers, D., 1990. "Alternative Estimates Of The Effect Of Family Stucture During Adolescence On Hight School Graduation," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 90-31, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Jeffrey S. Zax & Daniel I. Rees, 2002. "IQ, Academic Performance, Environment, and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 600-616, November.
  15. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gonzalez, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja, 2008. "The Long Term Effects of Legalizing Divorce on Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Salvatore Zecchini & Marco Ventura, 2006. "Public Credit Guarantees and SME Finance," ISAE Working Papers, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) 73, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  3. Mahler, Philippe & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Single Motherhood and (Un)Equal Educational Opportunities: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Mark L. Hoekstra, 2007. "The Effects of Near and Actual Parental Divorce on Student Achievement and Misbehavior," Working Papers, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics 305, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
  5. Philippe Mahler & Rainer Winkelmann, 2004. "Secondary School Track Selection of Single-Parent Children – Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel," SOI - Working Papers 0415, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2005.
  6. Shirley H. Liu, 2007. "Is My Parents' Divorce to Blame for My Failure in Life? A joint Model of Child Educational Attainments and Parental Divorce," Working Papers, University of Miami, Department of Economics 0610, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  7. Salvatore Zecchini & Marco Ventura, 2009. "The impact of public guarantees on credit to SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 191-206, February.

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