Parent's Divorce and the Gender Gap in Long Term Labor Market Outcomes

Abstract

This paper explores the importance of divorce in explaining the gender gap in children’s long term educational outcomes. I find large differences in gender gap between divorced and nondivorced families. Boys perform much worse in divorced families. I use a sibling fixed effects model to find that relative to their sisters, boys in divorced families have lower likelihood of graduating high school and attending college. My results show that boys likelihood of graduating high school declines by 6.4 percentage points if their parents are divorced before they turn 13, and their chances of attending college decline by 12.2 percentage points if they are a teenager at the time of divorce. I find that divorce of parents is unrelated to the gender gap in achievement scores. My event study models show a drop in boys achievement scores relative to girls around the time of divorce.

Priyankar Datta
Priyankar Datta
PhD candidate in Economics

Priyankar Datta is a doctoral candidate in economics at Michigan State University. Priyankar’s research interests are in Labor, Public, and Health economics.