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The Effects of School Desegregation on Teenage Fertility

September 1, 2013

The school desegregation efforts following the historic Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) represent one of the most important social policy initiatives of the 20th century. Despite a large research literature on desegregation and educational outcomes, its effects on the lives of individuals are still not fully understood. In this paper we examine the effects of desegregation on the fertility of teenagers. Our findings suggest that desegregation increased the fertility of African American teens and is unrelated to the fertility of white teens.

Family Structure and the Economic Wellbeing of Children

August 1, 2012

An extensive literature that examines the relationship between family structure and children's outcomes consistently shows that living with a single parent is associated with negative outcomes. Few studies, however, directly test the relationship between family structure and outcomes for the child once he/she reaches adulthood. We directly examine, using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, whether family structure during childhood is related to the child's economic wellbeing both during childhood as well as adulthood. Our findings suggest that the economic wellbeing of children of mothers who experience a marital dissolution and remarry are no different from the children of mothers who are continuously married. However, the children of mothers whose marriages dissolve but who do not remarry experience large declines in their income over their first ten years of life. We also show that while the children of never married mothers earn a lot less as adults than the children of married parents, these differences can largely be explained by demographic and socioeconomic factors. Finally, our findings suggest that children who have mothers who experience a marital dissolution and who do not remarry have economic losses that persist into adulthood. Robustness checks using family fixed effects models support this result.

Family Structure and the Economic Mobility of Children

April 30, 2010

Compares the economic mobility, both absolute and relative, of children of continuously married mothers, divorced mothers, and unmarried mothers by race and family income level. Explores the role of racial differences in family structure and implications.