Working Papers

Daddies, Devotion, & Dollars

How Do They Matter for Youth?


Growing up in a family that lacks a biological father is correlated with a number of poor outcomes for youths. This study uses the National Educational Longitudinal Survey of 1988 to examine the extent to which differences in income or in parental involvement measurement error in income from single-parent homes affects the results in a large way because of the variability in income earned over a youth’s teen years. Overall, we find that both lower income and lower parental involvement explain most of the disadvantages of youth in single-parent homes, but neither explains the disadvantages of families with stepfather.