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How Does Parental Divorce Affect Children's Long-term Outcomes?

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  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  • Frimmel, Wolfgang
  • Halla, Martin

Abstract

Numerous papers report a negative association between parental divorce and child outcomes. To provide evidence whether this correlation is driven by a causal effect, we exploit idiosyncratic variation in the extent of sexual integration in fathers' workplaces: Fathers who encounter more women in their relevant age--occupation--group at the workplace are more likely to divorce. Further, this result is conditional upon the overall share of female co-workers in a firm. We find that parental divorce has persistent, and mostly negative, effects on children that differ significantly between boys and girls. Treated boys have lower levels of educational attainment and worse labor market outcomes and are more likely to die early. Treated girls also have lower levels of educational attainment, but they are also more likely to have children at an early age (especially during teenage years). However, treated girls experience almost no negative employment effects. The latter effect could be a direct consequence from the teenage motherhood, which may initiate an early entry to the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Frimmel, Wolfgang & Halla, Martin, 2016. "How Does Parental Divorce Affect Children's Long-term Outcomes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11339
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    Cited by:

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    2. Matthew Gregg & Melinda C. Miller, 2022. "Race and agriculture during the assimilation era: Evidence from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 46(37), pages 1109-1136.
    3. Yen-Chien Chen & Elliott Fan & Jin-Tan Liu, 2019. "Understanding the Mechanisms of Parental Divorce Effects on Child’s Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 25886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hélène Le Forner, 2019. "Age At Parents' Separation And Children Achievement: Evidence From France Using A Sibling Approach," AMSE Working Papers 1928, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    5. Gloria Moroni, 2018. "Explaining Divorce Gaps in Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills of Children," Discussion Papers 18/16, Department of Economics, University of York.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Divorce; Children; Human capital; Fertility; Workplace sexual integration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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