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Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?

Kevin Lang and Jay L. Zagorsky
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Spring, 2001), pp. 253-273
DOI: 10.2307/3069659
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3069659
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?
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Abstract

It is widely recognized that children who grow up without a biological parent do worse, on average, than other children. However, because having a single parent is highly correlated with many other socioeconomic disadvantages, the negative outcomes might be caused by something beyond the parent's absence. Econometric tests using a variety of background controls and parental death as an exogenous cause of absence, show little evidence that a parent's presence during childhood affects economic well being in adulthood. The two exceptions are that living without a mother impacts girls' cognitive performance while having a father die lowers sons' chances of marriage.

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