Will You Miss Me When I Am Gone? The Economic Consequences of Absent Parents
AbstractThis paper examines the effects of family structure on the economic resources available to children, using family fixed-effects to control for unobservable characteristics of the family. The effects of divorce on the income and consumption of children born to two-parent households, and the effects of marriage on children born into single-parent households are both considered. In the long-run (six or more years after the most recent divorce) family income falls by 40 to 45% after divorce, and food consumption is reduced by 17%. Six or more years after the most recent marriage, income of children born to single parents rises by 50 to 57%, but there is no statistically significant increase in food consumption. These estimates are substantially less than the difference in income implied by cross-sectional comparisons of different family types. When income changes are measured according to time since the parents first divorce, there is substantial recovery in income, virtually all of which is explained by subsequent remarriages. Similarly, when we look at income several years after a parent's first marriage, the gain is 28 to 33%, reflecting the short-lived nature of many of these marriages.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8786.
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Note: CH LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty
- J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-03-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-LTV-2002-04-03 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-MIC-2002-04-08 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Greg J. Duncan & Saul D. Hoffman, 1985. "Economic Consequences of Marital Instability," NBER Chapters, in: Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, pages 427-470 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen Zeldes, .
"Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
24-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-46, April.
- Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2001.
"Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce,"
NBER Working Papers
8578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
- Linda Waite, 1995. "Does marriage matter?," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 483-507, November.
- Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
- Larry Bumpass & R. Raley, 1995. "Redefining single-parent families: Cohabitation and changing family reality," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 97-109, February.
- Izan, Haji Y., 1980. "To pool or not to pool? : A reexamination of Tobin's food demand problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 391-402, August.
- Greg Duncan & Saul Hoffman, 1985. "A reconsideration of the economic consequences of marital dissolution," Demography, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 485-497, November.
- Mumcu, Ayse & Saglam, Ismail, 2006. "Marriage and Divorce in a Model of Matching," MPRA Paper 1907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.