Publication


Fabrizio Bernardi and Jonas Radl
The long-term consequences of parental divorce for children’s educational attainment
Demographic Research, 2014
URL, JabRef BibTex, Abstract
BACKGROUND In this paper we study the long-term consequences of parental divorce in a comparative perspective. Special attention is paid to the heterogeneity of the consequences of divorce for children’s educational attainment by parental education. OBJECTIVE The study attempts to establish whether the parental breakup penalty for tertiary education attainment varies by socioeconomic background, and whether it depends on the societal context. METHODS Data are drawn from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey, covering 14 countries. We estimate multi-level random-slope models for the completion of tertiary education. RESULTS The results show that parental divorce is negatively associated with children’s tertiary education attainment. Across the 14 countries considered in this study, children of separated parents have a probability of achieving a university degree that is on average seven percentage points lower than that of children from intact families. The breakup penalty is stronger for children of highly educated parents, and is independent of the degree of diffusion of divorce. In countries with early selection into educational tracks, divorce appears to have more negative consequences for the children of poorly educated mothers. CONCLUSIONS For children in most countries, parental divorce is associated with a lower probability of attaining a university degree. The divorce penalty is larger for children with highly educated parents. This equalizing pattern is accentuated in countries with a comprehensive educational system. COMMENTS Future research on the heterogeneous consequences of parental divorce should address the issue of self-selection into divorce, which might lead to an overestimation of the negative effect of divorce on students with highly educated parents. It should also further investigate the micro mechanisms underlying the divorce penalty.

Reference


@article{Bernardi2014a,
  author = {Fabrizio Bernardi and Jonas Radl},
  title = {The long-term consequences of parental divorce  for children’s educational attainment },
  year = {2014},
  journal = {Demographic Research},
  volume = {30},
  number = {61},
  pages = {1653-1680},
  month = {May},
  url = {http://demographic-research.org/volumes/vol30/61/30-61.pdf},
  note = {DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2014.30.61 
},
  timestamp = {02.06.2014},
  abstract = {BACKGROUND 
In this paper we study the long-term consequences of parental divorce in a comparative 
perspective. Special attention is paid to the heterogeneity of the consequences of 
divorce for children’s educational attainment by parental education. 
OBJECTIVE 
The study attempts to establish whether the parental breakup penalty for tertiary  education attainment varies by socioeconomic background, and whether it depends on 
the societal context. 
METHODS 
Data are drawn from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey, covering 14 
countries. We estimate multi-level random-slope models for the completion of tertiary 
education. 
RESULTS 
The results show that parental divorce is negatively associated with children’s tertiary 
education attainment. Across the 14 countries considered in this study, children of 
separated parents have a probability of achieving a university degree that is on average 
seven percentage points lower than that of children from intact families. The breakup 
penalty is stronger for children of highly educated parents, and is independent of the 
degree of diffusion of divorce. In countries with early selection into educational tracks, 
divorce appears to have more negative consequences for the children of poorly educated 
mothers. 
CONCLUSIONS 
For children in most countries, parental divorce is associated with a lower probability of attaining a university degree. The divorce penalty is larger for children with highly educated parents. This equalizing pattern is accentuated in countries with a  comprehensive educational system. 
COMMENTS 
Future research on the heterogeneous consequences of parental divorce should address the issue of self-selection into divorce, which might lead to an overestimation of the  negative effect of divorce on students with highly educated parents. It should also further investigate the micro mechanisms underlying the divorce penalty. 

 }
}

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