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Deadbeat Dads

Author

Listed:
  • Shannon Seitz

    (Boston College)

  • Geoffrey Sanzenbacher

    (Analysis Group)

  • Andrew Beauchamp

    (Boston College)

  • Meghan Skira

    (University of Georgia)

Abstract

Why do some men father children outside of marriage but not provide support? Why are single women willing to have children outside of marriage when they receive little or no support from unmarried fathers? To answer these questions, we develop and estimate a dynamic equilibrium model of marriage, employment, fertility, and child support. We consider the extent to which two explanations account for the prevalence of 'deadbeat dads' and non-marital childbearing: low wages and a shortage of single men relative to single women. Even if women prefer to have children within marriage, when faced with a shortage of high wage spouses it may be optimal to have children with low wage men outside of marriage. In response, some men have incentives to have children and not support them. The model is estimated by efficient method of moments using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. We conduct several counterfactual experiments including equating black and white population supplies and eliminating the racial gap in wages to explore the implications of the model. We also analyze a counterfactual policy in which child support enforcement is perfect.

Suggested Citation

  • Shannon Seitz & Geoffrey Sanzenbacher & Andrew Beauchamp & Meghan Skira, 2014. "Deadbeat Dads," 2014 Meeting Papers 435, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed014:435
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2010. "The Role Of Labor And Marriage Markets, Preference Heterogeneity, And The Welfare System In The Life Cycle Decisions Of Black, Hispanic, And White Women," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 851-892, August.
    2. Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria L., 2010. "The Design of Unemployment Transfers: Evidence from a Dynamic Structural Life-Cycle Model," IZA Discussion Papers 4792, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Meghan M. Skira, 2015. "Dynamic Wage And Employment Effects Of Elder Parent Care," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 63-93, February.
    4. Michelle Sheran Sylvester, 2007. "The Career and Family Choices of Women: A Dynamic Analysis of Labor Force Participation, Schooling, Marriage and Fertility Decisions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(3), pages 367-399, July.
    5. Peter Arcidiacono & Andrew Beauchamp & Marjorie McElroy, 2016. "Terms of endearment: An equilibrium model of sex and matching," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), pages 117-156, March.
    6. Lynda Clarke & Elizabeth Cooksey & Georgia Verropoulou, 1998. "Fathers and absent fathers: Sociodemographic similarities in britain and the united states," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(2), pages 217-228, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Martin Huber & Giovanni Mellace, 2014. "Testing exclusion restrictions and additive separability in sample selection models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 75-92, August.
    9. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Why so only 5.5% of Black Men Marry White Women?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 803-826, August.
    10. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 1996. "Female Labour Supply and Marital Status Decisions: A Life-Cycle Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 199-235.
    11. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Krueger, Dirk, 2011. "Consumption And Saving Over The Life Cycle: How Important Are Consumer Durables?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(05), pages 725-770, November.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:case_child_support is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Deadbeat Dads
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-11-25 17:28:04

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    Cited by:

    1. Mehmet Soytas & Limor Golan & George-Levi Gayle, 2014. "What Accounts for the Racial Gap in Time Allocation and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital?," 2014 Meeting Papers 83, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Andrew Beauchamp, 2016. "Abortion Costs, Separation, and Non-marital Childbearing," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 182-196, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • 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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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