Does it benefit born-out-of-wedlock children if their parents subsequently marry?

Using a representative sample of children all born to unwed parents drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and a potential outcome approach to account for self-selection into marriage, we investigate whether marriage after childbearing has a causal effect on early child development. Comparing children with similar background characteristics and parental mate-selection patterns who differ only in terms of whether their parents marry after childbirth, we find that marriage after childbirth significantly increases a child’s early cognitive performance but there is no evidence that it affects child asthma risk or behavioral outcomes. (JEL J12, J13, C3)

Source: “SHOULD WE GET MARRIED? THE EFFECT OF PARENTS’ MARRIAGE ON OUT-OF-WEDLOCK CHILDREN” from Economic Inquiry

To learn the science of raising kids (very much in line with what I do on this blog) check out NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.

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