Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 83–102 | Cite as

Match quality and maternal investments in children

  • Erin K. Fletcher


Marriage advocates contend that the unstable environment caused by divorce can have adverse effects on children’s educational and behavioral outcomes. However, the assignment of poor outcomes to the divorce itself fails to take into account relationship quality and heterogeneity in place before or in the absence of union dissolution. I explore the link between heterogeneity of relationship quality and investments in children by showing that women who report less satisfaction in their relationships spend less time reading with their children. I test various theoretical mechanisms by which we would expect women to decrease their investments in a child using information about the match including reported argument frequency and whether the union dissolves. The results suggest that subjective measures tell a more complete story about investments in children than indicated by future union status, argument frequency or parental quality.


Investments in children Match quality Intelligence 

JEL Classification

J12 J13 D13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lafayette CollegeEastonUSA

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