IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/25886.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Understanding the Mechanisms of Parental Divorce Effects on Child’s Higher Education

Author

Listed:
  • Yen-Chien Chen
  • Elliott Fan
  • Jin-Tan Liu

Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the degree to which the adverse parental divorce effect on university education operates through deprivation of economic resources. Using one million siblings from Taiwan, we first find that parental divorce occurring at ages 13-18 led to a 10.6 percent decrease in the likelihood of university admission at age 18. We then use the same sample to estimate the effect of parental job loss occurring at the same ages, and use the job-loss effect as a benchmark to indicate the potential parental divorce effect due to family income loss. We find the job-loss effect very little. Combined, these results imply a minor role played by reduced income in driving the parental divorce effect on the child’s higher education outcome. Non-economic mechanisms, such as psychological and mental shocks, are more likely to dominate. Our further examinations show that boys and girls are equally susceptible, and younger teenagers are more vulnerable than the more mature ones, to parental divorce.

Suggested Citation

  • Yen-Chien Chen & Elliott Fan & Jin-Tan Liu, 2019. "Understanding the Mechanisms of Parental Divorce Effects on Child’s Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 25886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25886
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w25886.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano & Eugenio Giolito, 2012. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 215-248.
    2. Marco Francesconi & Stephen Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Childhood family structure and schooling outcomes: evidence for Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 1073-1103, June.
    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, vol. 14(1), 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. Lindo, Jason M. & Schaller, Jessamyn & Hansen, Benjamin, 2018. "Caution! Men not at work: Gender-specific labor market conditions and child maltreatment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 77-98.
    6. Stacy B. Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2014. "Estimating the Effects of College Characteristics over the Career Using Administrative Earnings Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 323-358.
    7. Martin Halla & Wolfgang Frimmel & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2016. "How Does Parental Divorce Affect Children's Long-term Outcomes?," CDL Aging, Health, Labor working papers 2016-03, The Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory Aging, Health, and the Labor Market, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    8. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2008. "The Intergenerational Effects of Worker Displacement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 455-483, July.
    9. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    10. Marianne Page & Jessamyn Schaller & David Simon, 2019. "The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 37-78.
    11. W. Bentley MacLeod & Evan Riehl & Juan E. Saavedra & Miguel Urquiola, 2017. "The Big Sort: College Reputation and Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 223-261, July.
    12. Fiona Steele & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Øystein Kravdal, 2009. "Consequences of family disruption on children’s educational outcomes in norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(3), pages 553-574, August.
    13. Marcus Eliason, 2012. "Lost jobs, broken marriages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1365-1397, October.
    14. Lindo, Jason M., 2011. "Parental job loss and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 869-879.
    15. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens, 2004. "Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 489-522, April.
    16. Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2011. "Parental Job Loss and Children's School Performance," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 78(4), pages 1462-1489.
    17. Anders Björklund & Marianne Sundström, 2006. "Parental Separation and Children's Educational Attainment: A Siblings Analysis on Swedish Register Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 605-624, November.
    18. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Shi, Xinzheng & Wu, Binzhen, 2012. "Does attending elite colleges pay in China?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 78-88.
    19. Øystein Kravdal & Emily Grundy, 2019. "Children’s age at parental divorce and depression in early and mid-adulthood," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 73(1), pages 37-56, January.
    20. Denise Doiron & Silvia Mendolia, 2012. "The impact of job loss on family dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 367-398, January.
    21. Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
    22. Anders Björklund & Donna Ginther & Marianne Sundström, 2007. "Family structure and child outcomes in the USA and Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 183-201, February.
    23. Mark Hoekstra, 2009. "The Effect of Attending the Flagship State University on Earnings: A Discontinuity-Based Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 717-724, November.
    24. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stans, Renske A., 2022. "Short-run shock, long-run consequences? The impact of grandparental death on educational outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    2. Nikolova, Milena & Nikolaev, Boris N., 2021. "Family matters: The effects of parental unemployment in early childhood and adolescence on subjective well-being later in life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 312-331.
    3. Hertegård, Edvin, 2024. "Divorce law reform, family stability, and children's long-term outcomes," Working Paper Series 2024:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. Matteo Picchio & Michele Ubaldi, 2023. "Intergenerational Scars: The Impact Of Parental Unemployment On Individual Health Later In Life," Working Papers 478, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    5. Hélène Le Forner, 2023. "Parents' Separation: What is the Effect on Parents' and Children's Time Investments?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 85(4), pages 718-754, August.
    6. Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2019. "Consequences of Parental Job Loss on the Family Environment and on Human Capital Formation: Evidence from Plant Closures," IZA Discussion Papers 12559, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2020. "Consequences of parental job loss on the family environment and on human capital formation-Evidence from workplace closures," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    8. Marco Francesconi & Stephen Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Childhood family structure and schooling outcomes: evidence for Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 1073-1103, June.
    9. Matthias Rosenbaum-Feldbrügge, 2019. "The Impact of Parental Death in Childhood on Sons’ and Daughters’ Status Attainment in Young Adulthood in the Netherlands, 1850–1952," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(5), pages 1827-1854, October.
    10. Letizia Mencarini & Silvia Pasqua & Agnese Romiti, 2014. "Children’s time use and family structure in Italy," CHILD Working Papers Series 27, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    11. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2016. "How Does Parental Divorce Affect Children's Long-term Outcomes?," Working Papers 2016-13, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, Universität Innsbruck.
    12. Joanna M Clifton-Sprigg, 2019. "Out of sight, out of mind? The education outcomes of children with parents working abroad," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 73-94.
    13. Neffke, Frank & Nedelkoska, Ljubica & Wiederhold, Simon, 2024. "Skill mismatch and the costs of job displacement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(2).
    14. Helmut Rainer & Timo Hener & Thomas Siedler & Anita Fichtl & Anita Dietrich, 2013. "Political Socialisation in Changing Times? Connection Between Family Structures and Civic Engagement," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(17), pages 30-38, September.
    15. Jason M. Lindo & Krishna Regmi & Isaac Swensen, 2020. "Stable Income, Stable Family," NBER Working Papers 27753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Letizia Mencarini & Silvia Pasqua & Agnese Romiti, 2019. "Single-mother families and the gender gap in children’s time investment and non-cognitive skills," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 149-176, March.
    17. Schone, Pal & Strom, Marte, 2019. "International Labor Market Competition and Spousal Labor Supply Responses," IZA Discussion Papers 12857, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Petri Böckerman & Mika Haapanen & Christopher Jepsen, 2021. "Dark Passage: Mental Health Consequences of Parental Death," CESifo Working Paper Series 9099, CESifo.
    19. Eliason, Marcus & Hensvik, Lena & Kramarz, Francis & Skans, Oskar Nordström, 2023. "Social connections and the sorting of workers to firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 233(2), pages 468-506.
    20. Stevens, Ann Huff & Schaller, Jessamyn, 2011. "Short-run effects of parental job loss on children's academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 289-299, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25886. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.