FIGURE 7-5 Father’s probability of ceasing to live with his child before the age of 6.

SOURCE: Kaplan et al. (2002). Reprinted with permission of Wiley-Liss, Inc., a subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

the percentage of children who cease to live with him before age 6 rises from about 5 percent for children born before 1960 to 23 percent for children born in the 1980 cohort. Among children whose father has a graduate degree, the percentage of children who cease to live with him before age 6 did not change significantly during this period and remains between 5 and 8 percent.

On the high end of the education continuum, both men and women delay marriage and delay the onset of childbearing after marriage until they are confident about their readiness to have children. After childbearing, their marriages are more stable, and their children are more likely to attend college and receive parental support to do so. The major cost of this strategy is that the delay can result in lower total fertility than desired because of age-related changes in fecundity (Kaplan et al., 2002).

We propose that a third factor comes into play at the low end of the education continuum. It has been pointed out that men who are less educated have higher mortality rates and greater rates of incarceration (Geronimus et al., 1999; Willis, 1987, 1994). This tends to make sex ratios female biased and promotes single parenthood. Additionally, periods of unemployment are likely to be interspersed with periods of employment,

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