November 2005

IZA DP No. 1837: Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany

published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2010, 23 (3), 1073-1103

We analyze the impact on schooling outcomes of growing up in a family headed by a single mother. Growing up in a non-intact family in Germany is associated with worse outcomes in models that do not control for possible correlations between common unobserved determinants of family structure and educational performance. But once endogeneity is accounted for, whether by using sibling-difference estimators or two types of instrumental variable estimator, the evidence that family structure affects schooling outcomes is much less conclusive. Although almost all the point estimates indicate that non-intactness has an adverse effect on schooling outcomes, confidence intervals are large and span zero.