Some Kids

Kevin Lewis

May 14, 2023

Sibling Differences in Genetic Propensity for Education: How Do Parents React?
Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Anastasia Terskaya
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming 


We take advantage of recent advances in genomics to revisit a classic question in economics: how do parents respond to children's endowments and to sibling differences in endowments? We use an index based on DNA, which is fixed at conception and assigned randomly across siblings, as a proxy for educational endowments. We find that parents of nontwins display inequality aversion: given the absolute endowment level of one child, they invest less in him/her if his/her sibling has a lower genetic predisposition to education. In contrast, we find no evidence that parents of dizygotic twins react to endowment differences between children.

Parents, neighbors and youth crime
Carlos Díaz & Eleonora Patacchini
Review of Economics of the Household, June 2023, Pages 673–692 


We study the interplay between parental and peer socialization in shaping criminal behavior among adolescents. We develop a simple cultural transmission model where parents affect how the society influences their children’s decision. The model predicts that parental and peer socialization are substitutes in the development of juvenile crime. We then take the model to the data using information on a representative sample of adolescents in the United States. Using the geographic distances between residential addresses of individuals in the same grade and school to measure peer influences, we find that negative peer effects on juvenile crime are significantly lower for teenagers with engaged mothers. Consistent with the prediction of our model, this evidence reveals an important role of parents in mediating the impact of neighborhoods on youth crime. The influence of parents is especially important for drug trafficking, assault and battery.

Associations Between Early Life Adversity, Reproduction-Oriented Life Strategy, and Borderline Personality Disorder
Axel Baptista et al.
JAMA Psychiatry, forthcoming 

Design, Setting, and Participants: This study used cross-sectional data from the second wave of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2004-2005 (n = 34 653). Civilian, noninstitutionalized individuals in the US, 18 years or older, and those with and without a DSM-IV diagnosis of BPD were included. Analysis took place between August 2020 and June 2021.

Results: Analyses were performed on a sample of 30 149 participants (females: 17 042 [52%]; mean [SE] age, 48.5 [0.09]; males: 12 747 [48%]; mean [SE] age, 47 [0.08]). Of these, 892 (2.7%) had a diagnosis of BPD and 29 257 (97.3%) did not have BPD. Mean early life adversity, metabolic disorder score, and body mass index were significantly higher among participants with a diagnosis of BPD. In an analysis adjusted for age, individuals with BPD reported having significantly more children than those without BPD (b =0.06; SE, 0.01; t = 4.09; P < .001). Having experienced greater levels of adversity in early life was significantly associated with a greater risk of being diagnosed with BPD later in life (direct relative risk = 0.268; SE, 0.067; P < .001). Importantly, this risk was further increased by 56.5% among respondents who prioritized short-term reproductive goals over somatic maintenance (indirect relative risk = 0.565; SE, 0.056; P < .001). Similar patterns of associations were found in male and female individuals.

Reciprocity and the matrilineal advantage in European grand-parenting
Giorgio Brunello & Eiji Yamamura
Review of Economics of the Household, June 2023, Pages 397–433 


This study proposes reciprocity between parents and children to explain the observed matrilineal advantage in grandparent-grandchildren relationships in Europe. On the one hand, maternal grandparents look after grandchildren more than paternal grandparents do. On the other hand, daughters help their parents with personal tasks more than sons do. This advantage is stronger in the countries of Europe with lower gender equality and lower trust in others, where the traditional view of the family is more likely to prevail.

The Relationship between Youth Police Stops and Depression among Fathers
Kristin Turney
Journal of Urban Health, April 2023, Pages 269–278 


Research shows youth police contact -- a stressor experienced by more than one-quarter of urban-born youth by age 15 -- has deleterious mental health consequences for both youth and their mothers. Less is known about how youth’s fathers respond to this police contact, despite differences in how men and women respond to stress and relate to their children. I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to investigate the association between youth police stops and depression among youth’s fathers. Results show that fathers of youth stopped by the police, compared to fathers of youth not stopped by the police, are more likely to report depression, net of father and youth characteristics associated with selection into experiencing youth police stops. This association is concentrated among non-Black fathers and fathers of girls. The findings highlight how the repercussions of youth criminal legal contact extend to youth’s fathers and, more broadly, suggest that future research incorporate the responses of men connected to those enduring criminal legal contact.

Contraceptive access reform and abortion: Evidence from Delaware
Taehyun Kim, Daniel Marthey & Michel Boudreaux
Health Services Research, forthcoming 

Objective: To examine the effects of a comprehensive contraceptive access reform, Delaware Contraceptive Access Now, on abortion -- one of the most common outcomes of unintended pregnancy.

Data Source: We used abortion data by state of residence from the Abortion Surveillance System, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our data covers 5 years prior to (2010–2014) and 5 years after the intervention (2015–2019). 

Study Design: We used synthetic control methods to estimate program effects. Our design compares Delaware to a weighted average of 45 control states (“synthetic Delaware”), where the quality of the comparison is assessed by its similarity to Delaware in pre-period outcome levels and trends.

Principal Findings: We did not find statistically significant evidence that the program reduced abortion rates (0.61 fewer abortions per 1000 women, p-value = 0.74) on average, during the intervention period. The treatment effects were slightly larger in 2016 and 2017 (1.97 fewer abortions per 1000 women but not statistically significant) and attenuated in 2018 and 2019. This does not rule out program benefits in easing barriers to contraceptive methods or in reducing unplanned births. However, findings do suggest that increasing contraceptive access might not be an adequate substitute for restricted abortion access resulting from Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.


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