Abstract

Using data from the British Household Panel Survey and the National Survey of Families and Households in the United States, we present a sociodemographic profile of fathers and compare the determinants of absent fatherhood in each country. Although fatherhood has a younger profile in the United States, especially for blacks, predictors of fathers’ residency with their children are remarkably similar in the two countries. In both countries, the strongest predictor of a father’s absence is the parents’ relationship to each other at the time of the child’s birth. Policy implications of this finding are discussed.

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