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Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey


  • Ian Walker
  • Yu Zhu



There is someevidence to support the view that Child Support (CS), despite low compliance rates and a strong interaction with the welfare system, has played a positive role in reducing child poverty among non-intact families. However, relatively little research has addressed the role of CS on outcomes for the children concerned. There are good reasons for thinking that CS could leverage better outcomes than other forms of income support and, using a sample of dependent children in non-intact families from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), we find that CS received has an effect which is at least 10 times as large as that associated with variations in other sources of total household net income for two key educational outcomes: namely school leaving at the age of 16, and attaining 5 or more good GCSEs. We show that this remarkable and strong result is robust and, in particular, can be given a causal interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Studies in Economics 0811, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0811

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    parental separation; parental incomes; child support; educational outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • 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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