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Evidence suggests that fathers have stronger ties to sons than daughters, which may result in differential investments in their children. This paper investigated whether girls’ gender restricts their access to fathers' contributions if they do not live together. The data used were the 1994-2008 March/April Match Current Population Survey Child Support Supplements, a large, nationally representative sample which identifies child support eligible mothers of all marital statuses and collects information on nonresident fathers’ financial and social investments in their children. Results for court-mediated outcomes such as the existence and amounts of child support orders showed that courts do not allocate child support differentially by child gender. Small but suggestive effects of child gender were found on fathers’ post-dissolution investments, but these effects disadvantaged boys rather than girls.


This is the author's manuscript of a work originally published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, available at DOI 10.1007/s10834-019-09654-y

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