Impact of maternal imprisonment on children's probability of grade retention
This paper examines the effect of maternal imprisonment on children's probability of retention using propensity score matching. The sample consists of children attending Chicago Public Schools during years 1991 and 2004 between grade levels kindergarten and eighth grade. These children have mothers who either enter Illinois state prison or Cook county jail during an eight and an half year sampling period. The effect of maternal imprisonment is identified using a difference-in-difference strategy on a sample of children matched by different algorithms. I find that children whose mothers enter prison are less likely to experience grade retention than their matched counterparts at least in the immediate years following the mother's prison entry. These results are robust to different matching schemes as well as to different levels of maternal contact prior to the mother's incarceration.
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