Economics of Fatherhood

Authored by: David Bishai

Handbook of Father Involvement

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415878678
eBook ISBN: 9780203101414
Adobe ISBN: 9781136235054

10.4324/9780203101414.ch20

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Abstract

Few mammalian species exhibit any social contact between fathers and offspring. Humans are notable but not exceptional for having involved fathers. However, humans are unparalleled in the variety of ways they express fatherhood. A taxonomy of fathering would include: stepfathers, never married, divorced, polygynous, polyandrous, married, co-fathers, and various gradations of involvement for resident and non-resident fathers. The list is growing. One of the critical tasks in the economics of fatherhood is to explain this variety of social forms as human adaptations to resource scarcity, technology, and information. Economists share the general concern that the forms of fatherhood can critically determine the forms and magnitude of parental investments of time and money that determine a child's success in life.

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