1932

Abstract

A large body of literature exists on the impact of family structure on children's outcomes, typically focusing on average effects. In this review, we build on this with an economic framework that has heterogeneous predictions regarding the potential benefit for children of married parents. We propose that the gains due to marriage from a child's perspective depend on a mother's own level of resources, the additional net resources that her partner brings, and the outcome-specific returns to resources. Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics are consistent with the heterogeneous predictions of this framework. In terms of high school completion or avoiding poverty at age 25, the so-called marriage premium for children is highest for children of mothers with high school degrees and mothers in their early to mid-20s. For the more advanced outcomes of college completion or high income at age 25, the marriage premium monotonically increases with observed maternal age and education.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-063016-103749
2017-08-02
2024-04-17
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/economics/9/1/annurev-economics-063016-103749.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-063016-103749&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Akerlof GA, Yellen JL, Katz ML. 1996. An analysis of out-of-wedlock childbearing in the United States. Q. J. Econ. 111:2277–317 [Google Scholar]
  2. Amato PR. 2005. The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation. Future Child 15:275–96 [Google Scholar]
  3. Autor D, Dorn D, Hanson G. 2015. The labor market and the marriage market: how adverse employment shocks affect marriage, fertility, and children's living circumstances Work. Pap., Mass. Inst. Technol Cambridge, MA:
  4. Autor D, Wasserman M. 2013. Wayward sons: the emerging gender gap in labor markets and education Rep., Third Way Washington, DC:
  5. Becker GS. 1981. A Treatise on the Family Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press
  6. Bertrand M, Pan J. 2013. The trouble with boys: social influences and the gender gap in disruptive behavior. Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 5:132–64 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bjorklund-Young A. 2016. Family income and the college completion gap. Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy Commentary March 10. http://edpolicy.education.jhu.edu/wordpress/?p=42
  8. Cherlin A, Ribar D, Yasutake S. 2016. Non-marital first births, marriage, and income inequality. Am. Sociol. Rev. 81:41–22 [Google Scholar]
  9. Dahl GB, Lochner L. 2011. The impact of family income on child achievement: evidence from the earned income tax credit. Am. Econ. Rev. 102:51927–56 [Google Scholar]
  10. Ellwood DT, Jencks C. 2004a. The spread of single-parent families in the United States since 1960. The Future of the Family D Moynihan, L Rainwater, T Smeeding 25–65 New York: Russell Sage [Google Scholar]
  11. Ellwood DT, Jencks C. 2004b. The uneven spread of single-parent families: What do we know? Where do we look for answers?. Social Inequality K Neckerman 3–78 New York: Russell: Sage [Google Scholar]
  12. Furstenberg FF Jr., Cook TD, Eccles JS, Elder GH Jr., Sameroff A. 1999. Managing to Make It: Urban Families and Adolescent Success Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  13. Greenstone M, Looney A. 2011. Have earnings actually declined? Work. Pap., Hamilton Proj., Brookings Inst Washington, DC: http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/have_earnings_actually_declined/
  14. Guryan J, Hurst E, Kearney MS. 2008. Parental education and parental time with children. J. Econ. Perspect. 22:323–46 [Google Scholar]
  15. Hill CJ, Holzer HJ, Chen H. 2009. Against the Tide: Household Structure, Opportunities, and Outcomes Among White and Minority Youth Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Inst. Employ. Res.
  16. Hoffman SD, Foster EM, Furstenberg FF. 1993. Re-evaluating the costs of teenage childbearing. Demography 30:11–13 [Google Scholar]
  17. Kalil A, Ryan R, Chor E. 2014. Time investments in children across family structures. Ann. Am. Acad. Polit. Soc. Sci. 654:150–68 [Google Scholar]
  18. Kalil A, Ryan R, Corey M. 2012. Diverging destinies: maternal education and the development gradient in time with children. Demography 49:41361–83 [Google Scholar]
  19. Kalil A, Spencer M, Spieker S, Gilchrist L. 1998. Effects of family living arrangements and quality of relationships on the mental health of low-income adolescent mothers. Fam. Relat. 47:433–41 [Google Scholar]
  20. Kearney M, Hershbein B, Jácome E. 2015. Profiles of change: employment, earnings, and occupations from 1990–2013 Work. Pap., Hamilton Proj., Brookings Inst Washington, DC: http://www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/legacy/files/downloads_and_links/worker_profiles_changes_earnings_occupations_1990-2013_FINAL.pdf
  21. Lerman RI, Price J, Wilcox WB. 2017. Family structure and economic success across the life course. Marriage Fam. Rev. In press
  22. Løken KV. 2010. Family income and children's education: using the Norwegian oil boom as a natural experiment. Labour Econ 17:1118–29 [Google Scholar]
  23. Løken KV, Mogstad M, Wiswall M. 2012. What linear estimators miss: the effects of family income on child outcomes. Am. Econ. J. Appl. Econ. 4:21–35 [Google Scholar]
  24. Lopoo LM, DeLeire T. 2014. Family structure and the economic wellbeing of children during youth and adulthood. Soc. Sci. Res. 43:130–44 [Google Scholar]
  25. Lundberg S, Pollak RA. 2007. The American family and family economics. J. Econ. Perspect. 21:23–26 [Google Scholar]
  26. Manning W. 2015. Cohabitation and family well-being. Future Child 25:251–66 [Google Scholar]
  27. Mayer SE. 1997a. Income, employment and the support of children. Indicators of Children's Well-Being R Hauser, B Brown, W Prosser 237–57 New York: Russell Sage [Google Scholar]
  28. Mayer SE. 1997b. Trends in the economic well-being and life chances of America's children. Consequences of Growing Up Poor G Duncan, J Brooks-Gunn 49–69 New York: Russell Sage [Google Scholar]
  29. Mayer SE. 1997c. What Money Can't Buy: Family Income and Children's Life Chances Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press
  30. McLanahan S. 1997. Parent absence or poverty: Which matters more?. Consequences of Growing Up Poor G Duncan, J Brooks-Gunn 35–48 New York: Russell Sage [Google Scholar]
  31. McLanahan S, Sandefur G. 1994. Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps? Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press
  32. Miller AR. 2009. Motherhood delay and the human capital of the next generation. Am. Econ. Rev. 99:2154–58 [Google Scholar]
  33. Milligan K, Stabile M. 2007. The integration of child tax credits and welfare: evidence from the Canadian National Child Benefit program. J. Public Econ. 91:1–2305–26 [Google Scholar]
  34. Moffitt R. 2001. Welfare benefits and female headship in U.S. time series. Out of Wedlock: Causes and Consequences of Nonmarital Fertility LL Wu, B Wolf 143–72 New York: Russell Sage [Google Scholar]
  35. Oreopoulos P, Page M, Stevens AH. 2008. The intergenerational effects of worker displacement. J. Labor Econ. 26:3455–83 [Google Scholar]
  36. Ribar DC. 2015. Why marriage matters for child well-being. Future Child 25:211–27 [Google Scholar]
  37. Schwartz CR. 2010. Earnings inequality and the changing association between spouses’ earnings. Am. J. Sociol. 115:51524–57 [Google Scholar]
  38. Shenhav N. 2016. What women want: family formation and labor market responses to marriage incentives. Job Market Pap., Univ. Calif., Davis, CA
  39. Thomas A, Sawhill I. 2002. For richer or for poorer: marriage as an antipoverty strategy. J. Policy Anal. Manag. 21:587–99 [Google Scholar]
  40. Wilson WJ. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
  41. Wilson WJ, Neckerman K. 1986. Poverty and family structure: the widening gap between evidence and public policy issues. Fighting Poverty: What Works and What Doesn't S Danziger, D Weinberg 232–59 Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-063016-103749
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-063016-103749
Loading

Data & Media loading...

Supplemental Material

Supplementary Data

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error