Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Economic Research, Washington, DC 20212-0001.
Reports - Research
The effects of fatherlessness on children's educational attainment and entry-level wages were examined through a method-of-moments analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), a national panel study of 12,686 youths who were aged 14-22 in 1979. Two special features of the NLSY were used: its subsample of siblings and its 1988 retrospective on respondents' childhood living arrangements. It was discovered that, for whites, fatherlessness has a negative effect on educational attainment (regardless of how the data models are estimated) and reduces educational attainment by six-tenths of a year for each year of fatherlessness. The effects of fatherlessness on Hispanic children proved similar to those on white children, with Hispanic children growing up fatherless acquiring one-half year less education than had those who lived with both parents. The raw data for Blacks indicated that longer spells of fatherlessness led to lower educational attainment; however, when the data were adjusted for family-specific unobservables, Black children living in single-parent homes actually acquired more education than did their counterparts living with two parents. (Contains 16 references. Appended are information regarding data construction and the replication of an earlier study.) (MN)
Intergenerational Factors; National Longitudinal Survey of Youth