Skip to main content

Family structure and children's achievements

Abstract.

In this paper we estimate the relationships between several outcomes in early adulthood (educational attainment, economic inactivity, early childbearing, distress and smoking) and experience of life in a single-parent family during childhood. The analysis is performed using a special sample of young adults, who are selected from the first five waves of the British Household Panel Survey (1991–95) and can be matched with at least one sibling over the same period. We also perform level (logit) estimation using another sample of young adults from the BHPS. We find that: (i) experience of life in a single-parent family is usually associated with disadvantageous outcomes for young adults; (ii) most of the unfavourable outcomes are linked to an early family disruption, when the child was aged 0–5; and (iii) level estimates, whose causal interpretation relies on stronger assumptions, confirm the previous results and show that, for most outcomes, the adverse family structure effect persists even after controlling for the economic conditions of the family of origin.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Received: 24 August 1998/Accepted: 21 January 2000

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ermisch, J., Francesconi, M. Family structure and children's achievements. J Popul Econ 14, 249–270 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480000028

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480000028

  • JEL classification: J12
  • I20
  • I30
  • Key words: Family structure
  • intergenerational links
  • siblings estimators