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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
    DOI: 10.1086/690830
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    Cited by:

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    2. Randi Hjalmarsson & Andreea Mitrut & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2019. "The Impact of Abortion on Crime and Crime-Related Behavior," NBER Working Papers 26024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D’ambrosio & Anthony Lepinteur, 2020. "Marriage as Insurance: Job Protection and Job Insecurity in France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02933888, HAL.
    4. Andrew E. Clark & Anthony Lepinteur, 2020. "A Natural Experiment on Job Insecurity and Fertility in France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02540036, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. Soohyung Lee & Chiara Orsini, 2018. "Girls and boys: Economic crisis, fertility, and birth outcomes," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(7), pages 1044-1063, November.
    7. Andrew E. Clark & Anthony Lepinteur, 2020. "A Natural Experiment on Job Insecurity and Fertility in France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02540036, HAL.
    8. Sebastian Becker & Hermann Buslei & Johannes Geyer & Peter Haan, 2021. "Employment Responses to Income Effect: Evidence from Pension Reform," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1941, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Azmat, Ghazala Y. & Kaufmann, Katja, 2021. "Formation of College Plans: Expected Returns, Preferences and Adjustment Process," CEPR Discussion Papers 16103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Lee, Soohyung & Orsini, Chiara, 2018. "Girls and Boys: Economic Crisis, Fertility, and Birth Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 11531, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Endrich, Marek, 2020. "A Window to the World: The long-term effect of Television on Hate Crime," ILE Working Paper Series 33, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    12. Kyriopoulos, Ilias & Nikoloski, Zlatko & Mossialos, Elias, 2019. "Does economic recession impact newborn health? Evidence from Greece," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 237(C), pages 1-1.
    13. De Cao, Elisabetta & McCormick, Barry & Nicodemo, Catia, 2019. "Does Unemployment Worsen Babies' Health? A Tale of Siblings, Maternal Behaviour and Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 12568, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Yi Chen & Yingfei Huang, 2020. "The power of the government: China's Family Planning Leading Group and the fertility decline of the 1970s," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 42(35), pages 985-1038.
    17. Friehe, Tim & Müller, Helge & Neumeier, Florian, 2020. "Media’s role in the making of a democrat: Evidence from East Germany," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 866-890.
    18. Otto Lenhart, 2018. "More than just the Adoption of Western Capitalism? Time Use Changes in East Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 306-328, September.
    19. Andrew E. Clark & Anthony Lepinteur, 2020. "A Natural Experiment on Job Insecurity and Fertility in France," Working Papers halshs-02540036, HAL.
    20. Beblo, Miriam & Görges, Luise, 2018. "On the nature of nurture. The malleability of gender differences in work preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 19-41.

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    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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