Father Absence and the Educational Gender Gap
The educational attainment of young women now exceeds that of young men in most of the developed world, and women account for about 60% of new four-year college graduates in the United States. Several studies have suggested that the increase in single-parent households may be contributing to the growing gender gap in education, as boys are more vulnerable to the negative effects of father absence and economic disadvantage than girls. Using data on recent cohorts of young men and women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I find evidence consistent with other studies that boys are relatively more likely to experience problems in school, including school suspensions, when their father is absent, but also that girls are relatively more likely to experience depression in adolescence, particularly in step-father families. By the time Add Health subjects are young adults, there is no evidence that father absence early in life is more strongly associated with lower rates of college graduation for men, compared to women, in either cross-sectional or family fixed-effect models.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Marianne Bertrand & Jessica Pan, 2013.
"The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 32-64, January.
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- Christopher Dougherty, 2005. "Why Are the Returns to Schooling Higher for Women than for Men?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 969-988.
- Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
- Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & William H. J. Hubbard & Kevin M. Murphy, 2010. "Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 203-241.
- Gary S. Becker & William Hubbard & Kevin Murphy, 2010. "Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women," Working Papers 2010-009, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
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