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Educational Attainment in Blended Families


  • Anne Case
  • I-Fen Lin
  • Sara McLanahan


In this paper we compare the educational attainment of birth and non-birth children of women in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). We find that children raised by step, adoptive or foster mothers obtain significantly less education on average than do the birth children of the same women. Controlling for the women's fixed effects, the non-birth children of a woman receive on average one year less schooling than do her birth children, with the educational break occurring at the time children finish high school and begin college.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara McLanahan, 2000. "Educational Attainment in Blended Families," NBER Working Papers 7874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7874
    Note: CH

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. I-Fen Lin & Anne Case & Sara McLanahan, 1999. "Household Resource Allocation in Stepfamilies: Darwin Reflects on the Plight of Cinderella," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 234-238, May.
    2. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_childrens_health.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bergstrom, Theodore C., 1993. "A survey of theories of the family," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 21-79 Elsevier.
    4. Case, Anne & Paxson, Christina, 2001. "Mothers and others: who invests in children's health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 301-328, May.
    5. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
    6. Beller, Andrea H & Chung, Seung Sin, 1992. "Family Structure and Educational Attainment of Children: Effects of Remarriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(1), pages 39-59, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Plug, Erik & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2001. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Does Family Income Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 246, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Gindling, T. H. & Poggio, Sara Z., 2010. "The Effect of Family Separation and Reunification on the Educational Success of Immigrant Children in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 4887, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. Tim H. Gindling & Sara Z. Poggio, 2008. "Family Separation and Reunification as a Factor in the Educational Success of Immigrant Children," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-104, UMBC Department of Economics.
    5. Case, Anne & Paxson, Christina, 2001. "Mothers and others: who invests in children's health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 301-328, May.
    6. Mohanty, Madhu S. & Ullah, Aman, 2012. "Direct and indirect effects of happiness on wage: A simultaneous equations approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 143-152.

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior


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