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

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  • Anna Aizer
  • Sara McLanahan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Aizer & Sara McLanahan, 2005. "The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Fertility, Parental Investment and Child Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 11522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11522
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara Mclanahan, 2003. "Explaining trends in child support: Economic, demographic, and policy effects," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), 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. Pedro Hernandez & Andrea Beller & John Graham, 1995. "Changes in the Relationship Between Child Support Payments and Educational Attainment of Offspring, 1979–1988," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(2), pages 249-260, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Bradley T. Heim, 2003. "Does Child Support Enforcement Reduce Divorce Rates?: A Reexamination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
    6. repec:pri:cheawb:case_child_support.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. repec:pri:cheawb:case_child_support is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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 261-281, September.
    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. Laura Argys & H. Peters & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Judith Smith, 1998. "The impact of child support on cognitive outcomes of young children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(2), pages 159-173, May.
    12. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 33-64, December.
    13. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Studies in Economics 0811, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. Jean Knab & Irv Garfinkel & Sara McLanahan & Emily Moiduddin & Cynthia Osborne, 2007. "The Effects of Welfare and Child Support Policies on the Timing and Incidence of Marriage Following a Nonmarital Birth," Working Papers 898, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    3. repec:pri:crcwel:wp10-15-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Reagan A. Baughman, 2017. "The impact of child support on child health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 69-91, March.
    5. Pirog, Maureen & Gerrish, Ed, 2015. "Impact of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act on child support order establishment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 104-117.
    6. LaFave, Daniel & Thomas, Duncan, 2017. "Extended families and child well-being," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 52-65.
    7. Maria Cancian & Daniel Meyer & Steven Cook, 2011. "The Evolution of Family Complexity from the Perspective of Nonmarital Children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(3), pages 957-982, August.
    8. Carmen Aina & Giorgia Casalone & Paolo Ghinetti, 2008. "Internal Geographical Mobility And Educational Outcomes. An Analysis For An Italian Province," Working Papers 120, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    9. repec:pri:crcwel:wp07-10-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Terry-Ann L. Craigie, 2010. "Child Support Transfers under Family Complexity," Working Papers 1276, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    11. Kearney, Melissa S. & Levine, Phillip B., 2015. "Investigating recent trends in the U.S. teen birth rate," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 15-29.
    12. Maria Cancian & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Yiyoon Chung, 2013. "Discouraging Disadvantaged Fathers’ Employment: An Unintended Consequence of Policies Designed to Support Families," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 758-784, September.
    13. Jo Anna Gray & Joe Stone, 2014. "Understanding Measures Of Nonmarital Fertility: The Roles Of Marriage And Access To Human Capital," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 288-305, April.
    14. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2010. "Unilateral Divorce vs. Child Custody and Child Support in the U.S," MPRA Paper 24695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Fisher, Hayley, 2015. "The Impact of Child Support Receipt on Household Income and Labour Supply," Working Papers 2015-20, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    16. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.
    17. Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "Parental Responses to Child Support Obligations: Evidence from Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 22227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Melissa Schettini Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2012. "Explaining Recent Trends in the U.S. Teen Birth Rate," NBER Working Papers 17964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2011. "Divorce laws and fertility decisions," MPRA Paper 30243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Todd D. Kendall & Robert Tamura, 2010. "Unmarried Fertility, Crime, and Social Stigma," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 185-221, February.
    21. repec:bla:ecorec:v:93:y:2017:i:301:p:189-213 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    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
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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