Single Parenthood and Childhood Outcomes in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Urban South
Howard Bodenhorn ()
No 12056, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
Families are the core social institution and a growing body of research documents the costs of single parenthood for children in the twentieth century. This study documents racial differences in the incidence and costs of single parenthood in the mid-nineteenth century. Data from the urban South reveal two notable consequences of single parenthood. First, white children residing with single mothers left school earlier than children residing with two parents. Black children in single mother homes started school later and left school earlier. Single motherhood is therefore associated with less lifetime schooling for both races, but the consequences of living in a nontraditional home was larger for blacks. Second, single motherhood was associated with an increased incidence of labor force participation for white youth, but not for blacks. Single parenthood imposed costs, in terms of foregone human capital formation, on children in the mid-nineteenth century, but the consequences of single motherhood were mitigated by social norms toward childhood education.
JEL-codes: I2 J1 N3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-ure
Note: CH DAE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Bodenhorn, Howard. "Single Parenthood and Childhood Outcomes in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Urban South." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 38, 1 (Summer 2007): 33-64.
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12056
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().