The Impact of Placing Adolescent Males into Foster Care on Their Education, Income Assistance and Incarcerations

38 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2011  

William P. Warburton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rebecca Warburton

University of Victoria

Arthur Sweetman

McMaster University - Department of Economics; McMaster University - Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Clyde Hertzman

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Centre for Health Services and Policy Research

Date Written: January 1, 2011

Abstract

Understanding the causal impacts of taking youth on the margins of risk into foster care is an element of the evidence-base on which policy development for this crucial function of government relies. Yet, there is little research looking at these causal impacts; neither is there much empirical work looking at long-term outcomes. This paper focuses on estimating the impact of placing 16 to 18 year old male youth into care on their rates of high school graduation, and post-majority income assistance receipt and incarceration. Two distinct sources of exogenous variation are used to generate instrumental variables, the estimates from which are interpreted in a heterogeneous treatment effects framework as local average treatment effects (LATEs). And, indeed, each source of exogenous variation is observed to estimate different parameters. While both instruments are in accord in that placement in foster care reduces (or delays) high school graduation, the impact of taking youth into care on income assistance use has dramatically different magnitudes across the two margins explored, and, perhaps surprisingly, one source of exogenous variation causes an increase, and the other a decrease, in the likelihood of the youth being incarcerated by age 20. Our results suggest that it is not enough to ask whether more or fewer children should be taken into care; rather, which children are, and how they are, taken into care matter for long-term outcomes.

Keywords: Foster Care, Local Average Treatment Effects

JEL Classification: J13, I13, I38

Suggested Citation

Warburton, William P. and Warburton, Rebecca and Sweetman, Arthur and Hertzman, Clyde, The Impact of Placing Adolescent Males into Foster Care on Their Education, Income Assistance and Incarcerations (January 1, 2011). IZA Discussion Paper No. 5429. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1741617

William P. Warburton

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Rebecca Warburton

University of Victoria ( email )

Arthur Sweetman

McMaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

McMaster University - Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA) ( email )

1280 Main St. W
Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4
Canada

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Clyde Hertzman

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Centre for Health Services and Policy Research ( email )

201-2206 East Mall
Vancouver, V6T 1Z3
Canada

Paper statistics

Downloads
90
Rank
236,233
Abstract Views
796