Do Social Institutions Soften the Blow of Family Dissolution? A Comparison of Family Structure Effects in Sweden and the United States
Donna K. Ginther, University of Kansas
It is well known that children reared in non-intact families on average have less favorable educational outcomes than children reared in two-parent families. Evidence from Sweden and the United States indicates that living in a non-intact family is correlated with lower educational attainment. In this paper we compare the relationships between family structure and children's outcomes in terms of educational attainment and earnings using data from Sweden and the United States. Comparing Sweden and the United States is interesting because both family structure and family policy environments in the two countries differ significantly. We find the associations between family structure and children's outcomes to be remarkable similar in the U.S. and Sweden even though the policy and social environments differ. Our results suggest that the true effect of family structure is more complex than the biological relationship of parents to children in both Sweden and the United States.
Presented in Session 136: International Perspectives on the Effects of Family Structure