The effect of mother’s job loss on children’s educational attainment in the United States and Germany

Juli Simon Thomas, Harvard University
Philipp Hessel, Harvard University

Research has shown that parental job loss affects children educationally, psychologically, and physically. The specific role of mother’s job loss in this connection is not as well documented, though there is evidence that an unmarried mother’s job loss affects children’s education and psychological wellbeing in primarily negative ways. Since education and social mobility are closely connected, educational effects have consequences for intergenerational mobility. It is plausible that social policies mediate the connection between parental job loss and children’s education, and these policies vary nationally. To address this potential connection and variation, this project will examine the effect of mother’s job loss on children’s educational attainment, comparing outcomes for the United States and Germany. For data from the United States, we will use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and for Germany we plan to use the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). A combination of regression and propensity score matching techniques will be used to estimate outcomes.

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Presented in Poster Session 1