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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.

The Target Efficiency of Online Medicaid/CHIP Enrollment: An Evaluation of Wisconsin's ACCESS Internet Portal

February 24, 2011

Examines which socioeconomic subgroups are likely to apply for public insurance via the online ACCESS system, whether it efficiently targets those who are determined to be eligible, and to what extent ACCESS facilitates enrollment in other programs.

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.

Wisconsin's BadgerCare Plus Coverage Expansion and Simplification: Early Data on Program Impact

October 16, 2009

Provides an overview of Wisconsin's 2008 expansion of its state health insurance program. Highlights preliminary findings on how expanded eligibility and program simplification have affected take-up rates, enrollment, and continuity of coverage.