Donna Ginther

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Title: Fathers' Multiple-Partner Fertility and Children’s Educational Outcomes

Abstract: We find substantial effects of fathers' multiple-partner fertility (MPF) on children's long-term educational outcomes. We focus on the children in fathers’ “second families,” emphasizing the case in which the second families are nuclear families – households consisting of a man, a woman, their joint children, and no other children. We analyze outcomes for almost 80,000 children born in Norway in 1986-1988 who, until they were at least age 18, lived with both biological parents. This analysis cannot be done using existing US data sets. Children who spent their entire childhoods in nuclear families but whose fathers had children from another relationship living elsewhere were more likely to drop out of secondary school (24% vs 17%) and less likely to obtain a bachelor's degree (44% vs 51%) than children in nuclear families without MPF. Our probit estimates imply that the marginal effect of fathers' MPF is 4 percentage points for dropping out of secondary school and 5 percentage points for obtaining a bachelor's degree for children from complex nuclear families.  Our analysis suggests that the effects of fathers' MPF are primarily due to selection

Presenter: Donna Ginther, University of Kansas

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