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How Much Does Childhood Poverty Affect the Life Chances of Children?

Greg J. Duncan, W. Jean Yeung, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Judith R. Smith
American Sociological Review
Vol. 63, No. 3 (Jun., 1998), pp. 406-423
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657556
Page Count: 18
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How Much Does Childhood Poverty Affect the Life Chances of Children?
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Abstract

Why parental socioeconomic status correlates strongly with various measures of child and adult achievement is an important and controversial research question. After summarizing findings from recent contributions to this literature, we conduct two sets of analyses using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Completed schooling and nonmarital childbearing are related to parental income during early and middle childhood, as well as during adolescence. These analyses suggest that family economic conditions in early childhood have the greatest impact on achievement, especially among children in families with low incomes. Estimates from sibling models support the hypothesis that economic conditions in early childhood are important determinants of completed schooling.

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