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The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Fertility, Parental Investment and Child Well-Being

  • Anna Aizer
  • Sara McLanahan

Increasing the probability of paying child support, in addition to increasing resources available for investment in children, may also alter the incentives faced by men to have children out of wedlock. We find that strengthening child support enforcement leads men to have fewer out-of-wedlock births and among those who do become fathers, to do so with more educated women and those with a higher propensity to invest in children. Thus, policies that compel men to pay child support may affect child outcomes through two pathways: an increase in financial resources and a birth selection process.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11522.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11522.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Aizer, Anna and Sara McLanahan. "The Impact Of Child Support Enforcement On Fertility, Parental Investments, and Child Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, 2006, v41(1,Winter), 28-45.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11522
Note: CH
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  1. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara Mclanahan, 2003. "Explaining trends in child support: Economic, demographic, and policy effects," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 171-189, February.
  2. Robert I. Lerman, 1993. "Policy Watch: Child Support Policies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 171-182, Winter.
  3. Lucia A. Nixon, 1997. "The Effect of Child Support Enforcement on Marital Dissolution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 159-181.
  4. Pedro Hernandez & Andrea Beller & John Graham, 1995. "Changes in the Relationship Between Child Support Payments and Educational Attainment of Offspring, 1979–1988," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 249-260, May.
  5. Laura Argys & H. Peters & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Judith Smith, 1998. "The impact of child support on cognitive outcomes of young children," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 159-173, May.
  6. Laura M. Argys & H. Elizabeth Peters & Donald M. Waldman, 2001. "Can the Family Support Act Put Some Life Back into Deadbeat Dads?: An Analysis of Child-Support Guidelines, Award Rates, and Levels," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 226-252.
  7. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
  8. Bradley T. Heim, 2003. "Does Child Support Enforcement Reduce Divorce Rates?: A Reexamination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
  9. Alison Aughinbaugh, 2001. "Signals of Child Achievement as Determinants of Child Support," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 140-144, May.
  10. Virginia W. Knox, 1996. "The Effects of Child Support Payments on Developmental Outcomes for Elementary School-Age Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 816-840.
  11. Miller, Cynthia & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara, 1997. "Child Support in the U.S.: Can Fathers Afford to Pay More?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 261-81, September.
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