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Educational Assortative Mating and Children’s School Readiness

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Author Info

  • Audrey Beck

    (Princeton University)

  • Carlos González-Sancho

    (Juan March Institute and Nuffield College)

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    Abstract

    One of the concerns behind parental educational sorting is its potential to widen disparities in the ability of families to invest in their children’s development. Using data from the Fragile Families and Children Wellbeing Study, this paper investigates the association between parental educational homogamy and children’s school readiness at age 5. Our analyses reveal a positive impact of homogamy across child outcomes, most notably on socio-emotional indicators of development. Enhanced levels of parental agreement about the organization of family life and symmetry in the allocation of time to child care emerge as the intervening mechanisms behind this association. Our findings lend support to theoretical claims about the relevance of within-family social capital in the creation of human capital.

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    File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP09-05-FF.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1142.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp09-05-ff

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    Related research

    Keywords: Human capital; social capital; fragile families; school readiness;

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    References

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    1. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-37, May.
    2. Leon Feinstein, 2003. "Inequality in the Early Cognitive Development of British Children in the 1970 Cohort," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 73-97, February.
    3. Berger, Lawrence & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne & Paxson, Christina & Waldfogel, Jane, 2008. "First-year maternal employment and child outcomes: Differences across racial and ethnic groups," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 365-387, April.
    4. Zhenchao Qian, 1998. "Changes in assortative mating: The impact of age and education, 1970–1890," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 279-292, August.
    5. Datcher-Loury, Linda, 1988. "Effects of Mother's Home Time on Children's Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 367-73, August.
    6. Jane Waldfogel, 2006. "What do children need?," Public Policy Review, Institute for Public Policy Research, vol. 13(1), pages 26-34.
    7. Burtless, Gary, 1999. "Effects of growing wage disparities and changing family composition on the U.S. income distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 853-865, April.
    8. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
    9. Shelly Lundberg, 2005. "Sons, Daughters, and Parental Behaviour," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 340-356, Autumn.
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