Do Dads matter? Or is it just their money that matters? Unpicking the effects of separation on educational outcomes by and
The widely held view that separation has adverse effects on children has been the basis of important policy interventions. While a small number of analyses have been concerned with selection into divorce, no studies have attempted to separate out the effects of one parent (mostly the father) leaving, from the effects of that parent's money leaving, on the outcomes for the child. This paper is concerned with early school leaving and educational attainment and their relationship to parental separation, and parental incomes. While we find that parental separation has strong effects on these outcomes this result seems not to be robust to adding additional control variables. In particular, we find that when we include income our results then indicate that father’s departure appears to be unimportant for early school leaving and academic achievement, while income is significant. This suggests that income may have been an important unobservable, that is correlated with separation and the outcome variables, in earlier research. Indeed, this finding also seems to be true in our instrumental variables analysis – although the effect of income is slightly weakened.
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