Abstract

We examine changes over the 1980s in the effect of child support payments on the educational attainment of children age 16 to 19 in the United States, and why child support has a stronger impact than other sources of income. We use 1979 and 1988 Current Population Survey data, covering a period when improvements in enforcement should have increased the proportion of reluctant fathers paying support. We hypothesize and find that the positive effect of child support on education diminished somewhat over this period, both absolutely and in relation to other income.

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