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Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and Children’s Educational Outcomes

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  • Arnaud Chevalier
  • Olivier Marie

Abstract

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany experienced an unprecedented temporary drop in fertility driven by economic uncertainty. We show that the children born during this transition period performed worse on a range of educational outcomes from an early age onward. The mothers of these children exhibit personal characteristics and family structures consistent with negative parental selection. Investigating the underlying mechanisms reveals that parental educational input and emotional attachment were also lower for these children. Finally, our ability to compare siblings means that we can reject that our results stem from a time of birth effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2017. "Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and Children’s Educational Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 393-430.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/690830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Charles, Kerwin Kofi & Stephens, Melvin, Jr, 2006. "Abortion Legalization and Adolescent Substance Use," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 481-505, October.
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    8. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    9. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "Staunching Emigration from East Germany: Age and the Determinants of Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1014-1037, September.
    10. Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2006. "The Impact of an Abortion Ban on Socioeconomic Outcomes of Children: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 744-773, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Friehe, Tim & Müller, Helge & Neumeier, Florian, 2018. "The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 346-372.
    2. Andreas Thiemann, 2016. "How Does Maternal Pension Wealth Affect Family Old-Age Savings in Germany?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1560, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2016. "Interactions Between Family and School Environments: Evidence on Dynamic Complementarities?," NBER Working Papers 22112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:spr:jlabre:v:39:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12122-018-9268-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lee, Soohyung & Orsini, Chiara, 2018. "Girls and Boys: Economic Crisis, Fertility, and Birth Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 11531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:19-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tim Friehe & Helge Müller & Florian Neumeier, 2019. "Media's Role in the Making of a Democrat: Evidence from East Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 7485, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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