The Impact of Fathers’ Job Loss during the 1980s Recession on their Child’s Educational Attainment and Labour Market Outcomes

The Impact of Fathers’ Job Loss during the 1980s Recession on their Child’s Educational Attainment and Labour Market Outcomes

Abstract

The research on intergenerational correlations in outcomes is increasingly moving from measurement into assessment of causal transmission mechanisms. This paper analyses the causal impact of fathers’ job loss on their children’s educational attainment and later economic outcomes. To do so, we isolate the effect of job loss associated with major industry contractions, mainly in manufacturing, during the 1980s recession by mapping industry level employment change data from 1980 to 1983 into the British Cohort Study (BCS). Children with fathers’ who were identified as being displaced did significantly worse in terms of their GCSE attainment than those from non-displaced families. A child with a displaced father obtained on average 17 grade points lower or half a GCSE grade A-C less than their otherwise identical counterparts, the equivalent of 2.2% lower wages as an adult. There is also a small effect of fathers’ displacement on the early labour market attachment of children, but no direct impact on their earnings at 30/34. This does not mean that the impact of job loss will not affect social mobility. Those with lower income, education and social class were most affected by job losses and there is a direct effect on education and youth unemployment which we know to be drivers of later earnings. This suggests that the recent recession may have significant long-term consequences for the children of those who lost their jobs.

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The Impact of Fathers’ Job Loss during the 1980s Recession on their Child’s Educational Attainment and Labour Market Outcomes

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3 Responses to “The Impact of Fathers’ Job Loss during the 1980s Recession on their Child’s Educational Attainment and Labour Market Outcomes”
  1. Bobbi Swann says:

    As a (x) wife to a husband in the 1980’s that lost his job I can attest to the effects it has had on my children – now grown and married with children of their own. They were very young and we lost our home, our car….he got a job in Florida and that’s where we moved and been here ever since. Children were uprooted from family, friends, school. They cried for months afterwards. Eventually a divorce. It took my daughter 8 long years to get her college degree because funds were not there; longer than that for my other one. But, I will tell you this…..a strong family bond survives the storm! They are both doing well so far but both value family and are more conscience of frivilous material things! It is not easy by far and the scars remain on an emotional level. I was their guide but the credit goes to faith. I’m a believer and God watched over us and pulled us through. We’ve lost touch with the basic principles of the constitution for which this country was based and we need to ‘get back’ to what matters most……God (first) and country!

  2. Pamela Edwards says:

    As a person who lost my job and my home I can tell you it has had an enormous impact on my 16 year old.It’s made her realize that I pads,cellular phones and so forth are just that things.They are not neccessary to living .It’s also made her realize that family is the most important thing.Yes we have lost alot and we don’t have home anymore or even aplace to live except temporarily but we have each other and thats what counts.Will it have a negative impact of course it will,but as a family we will struggle through and make the best of it .After all what choice do we have.

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