The Effect of the Loss of a Parent on the Future Earnings of a Minor Child
21 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2010
We quantify the effect of a parent's absence on a child's future earnings. A parent's absence because of separation or divorce reduces a child's lifetime earnings between 3 and 12 percent. Lifetime educational attainment is adversely affected by between 2 and 4 percent if a parent of the same gender as the child dies (a smaller impact than if absence is because of separation or divorce). No such adverse effect is found if a girl's father or a boy's mother dies. We conclude that it is sensible that lifetime earnings loss to children not be estimated in a parent's wrongful death case.
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