Family Structural Influences on Children’s Education Attainment:Evidence from Uruguay
As the developed world has experienced a shift away from the traditional two biological parent family, scholars have sought to understand how children are faring in non-traditional homes. Debate has arisen over assertions that children from nontraditional families do less well in school. Concerns about selection issues as well as a paucity of cross-cultural evidence, have led some scholars to question the causal influence of family structure on educational attainment. Using data from the 2006 Uruguayan household survey, we evaluate the influence of family structure on education using two different methods to deal with selection problems, an instrumental variables approach and propensity score matching. Both approaches yield evidence that growing up in non-traditional family structures has a negative causal impact on the schooling of Uruguayan boys, with more muted results for girls.
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