The degree of paternal economic and emotional investment in children and families has a major impact on child outcomes, however trends away from two-parent families indicate the need for social policy changes to further encourage active involvement by fathers, married or otherwise. The authors consider a number of economic factors that may contribute to the drift away from two-parent families in this review of the economic literature on welfare reform, child support enforcement, and labor markets, and their possible influence on paternal disengagement through divorce, separation and birth to unmarried parents. An overview of changes in household structure in recent decades is presented, and the relationship between household structure and father's involvement in their children's lives. Economic theories of paternal non-involvement are explored, and empirical evidence for and against such theories is examined. 17 footnotes.
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