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Do Dads matter? Or is it just their money that matters? Unpicking the effects of separation on educational outcomes by and

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Author Info

  • Ian Walker

    (University of Warwick and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Yu Zhu

    (University of Kent and Centre for the Economics of Education)

Abstract

The widely held view that separation has adverse effects on children has been the basis of important policy interventions. While a small number of analyses have been concerned with selection into divorce, no studies have attempted to separate out the effects of one parent (mostly the father) leaving, from the effects of that parent's money leaving, on the outcomes for the child. This paper is concerned with early school leaving and educational attainment and their relationship to parental separation, and parental incomes. While we find that parental separation has strong effects on these outcomes this result seems not to be robust to adding additional control variables. In particular, we find that when we include income our results then indicate that father’s departure appears to be unimportant for early school leaving and academic achievement, while income is significant. This suggests that income may have been an important unobservable, that is correlated with separation and the outcome variables, in earlier research. Indeed, this finding also seems to be true in our instrumental variables analysis – although the effect of income is slightly weakened.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/GearyWp200722.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200722.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200722

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Keywords: parental separation; parental incomes; early school leaving; educational attainment;

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References

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  1. Plug, Erik & Vijverberg, Wim, 2000. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is It Nature of Is It Nurture?," Discussion Papers 736, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O'Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2005. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of their Children," Studies in Economics 0504, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  3. Libertad González Luna, 2005. "The determinants of the prevalence of single mothers: A cross-country analysis," Economics Working Papers 876, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Paul Gregg & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2003. "The Effects of Early Maternal Employment on Child Development in the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/070, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Are missing dads to blame?
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-08-10 12:57:40
  2. Do parents matter?
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-01-17 14:40:07
  3. Kids need money, not dads
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-05-27 11:33:36
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Cited by:
  1. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Erdal Tekin, 2014. "Fathers and youths’ delinquent behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 327-358, June.

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