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Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?

  • Kevin Lang
  • Jay L. Zagorsky

It is widely recognized that children who grow up without a biological parent do worse, on average, than other children. However, because having a single parent is highly correlated with many other socioeconomic disadvantages, the negative outcomes might be caused by something beyond the parent's absence. Econometric tests using a variety of background controls and parental death as an exogenous cause of absence, show little evidence that a parent's presence during childhood affects economic well being in adulthood. The two exceptions are that living without a mother impacts girls' cognitive performance while having a father die lowers sons' chances of marriage.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 36 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 253-273

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:36:y:2001:i:2:p:253-273
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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