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Is My Parents' Divorce to Blame for My Failure in Life? A joint Model of Child Educational Attainments and Parental Divorce

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  • Shirley H. Liu

    () (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

Abstract

This study examines the potential causal effect of parental divorce on child educational attainments, using annual data on individuals covering the entire time span between birth until the completion of ones schooling drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). A joint hazard model of schooling attainment and parental marital dissolution is estimated, allowing for correlations between unobserved factors that affect the parents’ human capital investment choices toward their children and their decision to divorce. After accounting for dynamic variations in family socioeconomic circumstances, experiences, and family unobserved heterogeneity, this study finds no evidence that divorce negatively affects children’s long-term educational attainments. The findings suggest that the differences in educational attainments between children of divorced and intact parents are not attributable to divorce, but rather the underlying mechanism that triggered divorce in the first place.

Suggested Citation

  • Shirley H. Liu, 2007. "Is My Parents' Divorce to Blame for My Failure in Life? A joint Model of Child Educational Attainments and Parental Divorce," Working Papers 0610, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0610
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    File URL: http://moya.bus.miami.edu/~sliu/Research_files/paper.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gary Painter & David I. Levine, 2000. "Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causal?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, pages 524-549.
    3. Philip K. Robins & David H. Greenberg & Paul Fronstin, 2001. "Parental disruption and the labour market performance of children when they reach adulthood," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 137-172.
    4. Corak, Miles, 2001. "Death and Divorce: The Long-Term Consequences of Parental Loss on Adolescents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 682-715, July.
    5. Björklund, Anders & Ginther, Donna K. & Sundström, Marianne, 2004. "Family Structure and Child Outcomes in the United States and Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Scott Boggess, 1998. "Family structure, economic status, and educational attainment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 205-222.
    7. Larry Bumpass & R. Raley & James Sweet, 1995. "The changing character of stepfamilies: implications of cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 425-436, August.
    8. Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "Does Parental Divorce Affect Adolescents' Cognitive Development? Evidence from Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1206, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Sgroi, Daniel & Proto, Eugenio & Oswald, Andrew J., 2010. "Are Happiness and Productivity Lower among University Students with Newly-Divorced Parents? An Experimental Approach," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 937, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; Divorce; Adolescent Outcome; Educational Attainment; Joint Hazard Model;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • 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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