I-Fen Lin

Bowling Green State University
Department of Sociology
Bowling Green, OH 43403

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2000Understanding Child Support Trends: Economic, Demographic, and Political Contributions
with Anne Case, Sara McLanahan: w8056
We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to examine trends in child support payments over the past thirty years and to assess five different explanations for these trends: inflation, the shift to unilateral divorce, changes in marital status composition, changes in men's and women's earnings, and ineffective child support laws. We find that during the 1970s and early 1980s, three factors high inflation, increase in non-marital childbearing, and shifts to unilateral divorse--exerted downward pressure on child support payments. Throughout this time period, child support policies were weak, and average real payments declined sharply. Our findings indicate that two child support policies legislative guidelines for awards and universal wage withholding--are important for i...

Published: Case, Anne, I-Fen Lin and Sara McLanahan. “Explaining Trends in Child Support: Economic, Demographic, and Policy Effects.” Demography 40, 1 (2003): 171-189.

September 2000Educational Attainment in Blended Families
with Anne Case, Sara McLanahan: w7874
In this paper we compare the educational attainment of birth and non-birth children of women in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). We find that children raised by step, adoptive or foster mothers obtain significantly less education on average than do the birth children of the same women. Controlling for the women's fixed effects, the non-birth children of a woman receive on average one year less schooling than do her birth children, with the educational break occurring at the time children finish high school and begin college.

Published: Case, Anne, Sara McLanahan, and I-Fen Lin. “Educational Attainment of Siblings in Stepfamilies." Evolution and Human Behavior 22, 4 (2001): 269-289.

October 1999How Hungry is the Selfish Gene?
with Anne Case, Sara McLanahan: w7401
We examine resource allocation in step-households, in the United States and South Africa, to test whether child investments vary according to economic and genetic bonds between parent and child. We used 18 years of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and compare food expenditure by family type, holding constant household size, age composition and income. We find that in those households in which a child is raised by an adoptive, step or foster mother, less is spent on food. We cannot reject the hypothesis that the effect of replacing a biological child with a non- biological child is the same, whether the non-biological child is an adoptive, step or foster child of the mother. In South Africa, where we can disaggregate food consumption more finely, we find that when a child's...

Published: Case, Anne, I-Fen Lin and Sara McLanahan. "How Hungry Is The Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, 2000, v110(466,Oct), 781-804. citation courtesy of

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