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Parents’ Incomes and Children’s Outcomes: A Quasi-Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Akee, Randall K. Q.

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Copeland, William

    () (Duke University)

  • Keeler, Gordon

    () (Duke University)

  • Angold, Adrian

    () (Duke University)

  • Costello, Jane E.

    () (Duke University)

Abstract

Identifying the effect of parental incomes on child outcomes is difficult due to the correlation of unobserved ability, education levels and income. Previous research has relied on the use of instrumental variables to identify the effect of a change in household income on the young adult outcomes of the household’s children. In this research, we examine the role that an exogenous increase in household incomes due to a government transfer unrelated to household characteristics plays in the long run outcomes for children in affected households. We find that children who are in households affected by the cash transfer program have higher levels of education in their young adulthood and a lower incidence of criminality for minor offenses. These effects differ by initial household poverty status as is expected. Second, we explore two possible mechanisms through which this exogenous increase in household income affects the long run outcomes of children – parental time (quantity) and parental quality. Parental quality and child interactions show a marked improvement while changes in parental time with child does not appear to matter.

Suggested Citation

  • Akee, Randall K. Q. & Copeland, William & Keeler, Gordon & Angold, Adrian & Costello, Jane E., 2008. "Parents’ Incomes and Children’s Outcomes: A Quasi-Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3520
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
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    3. Jo Blanden, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 245-263, Summer.
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    5. Rebecca Blank, 2003. "Selecting Among Anti-Poverty Policies: Can an Economist be Both Critical and Caring?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 61(4), pages 447-469.
    6. Maurin, Eric, 2002. "The impact of parental income on early schooling transitions: A re-examination using data over three generations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 301-332, September.
    7. Joyce J. Chen, 2006. "Migration and Imperfect Monitoring: Implications for Intra-Household Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 227-231, May.
    8. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2012. "Credit Constraints in Education," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 225-256, July.
    2. Gelber, Alexander & Isen, Adam, 2013. "Children's schooling and parents' behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 25-38.
    3. Emma Tominey, 2010. "The Timing of Parental Income and Child Outcomes: The Role of Permanent and Transitory Shocks," CEE Discussion Papers 0120, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    4. Alexander M. Gelber & Matthew C. Weinzierl, 2012. "Equalizing Outcomes and Equalizing Opportunities: Optimal Taxation when Children's Abilities Depend on Parents' Resources," NBER Working Papers 18332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Anna Aizer & Shari Eli & Joseph P. Ferrie & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "The Long Term Impact of Cash Transfers to Poor Families," NBER Working Papers 20103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Felfe, Christina & Deuchert. Eva, 2011. "The tempest: Using a natural disaster to evaluate the link between wealth and child development," Economics Working Paper Series 1146, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    criminality; panel data; educational attainment; difference-in-differences; cash transfer programs; quasi-experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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