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Parental Separation and Well-Being of Youths


  • Rainer Winkelmann

    () (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)


This paper uses recent data for Germany and a new outcome variable to assess the consequences of parental separation on the well-being of youths. In particular, it is considered how subjective well-being, elicited from an ordinal 11-point general life satisfaction question, differs between youths living in intact and non-intact families, holding many other potential determinants of well-being constant using ordered probit regressions. The main finding of this study is that living in a non-intact family has not the hypothesised large negative effect on child well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Parental Separation and Well-Being of Youths," SOI - Working Papers 0312, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0312

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
    3. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    4. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    5. Ermisch, John F & Francesconi, Marco, 1997. "Family Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 1591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Björklund, Anders & Sundström, Marianne, 2002. "Parental Separation and Children's Educational Attainment: A Siblings Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 643, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Donna K. Ginther & Robert A. Pollak, 2000. "Does family structure affect children's educational outcomes?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2000-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Loertscher & Yves Schneider, 2005. "Switching Costs, Firm Size, and Market Structure," SOI - Working Papers 0508, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    2. 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.
    3. Björklund, Anders & Ginther, Donna K. & Sundström, Marianne, 2004. "Family Structure and Child Outcomes in the United States and Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    child welfare; educational attainment; happiness; German Socio-Economic Panel;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities


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