Abstract

Using data on children whose parents lost their jobs during the post-communist transition of Hungary, we address the causal effect of unexpected long-term unemployment of parents on their children's educational achievement. We estimate the effect of the children's age at the time of their parents' job loss on their probability of dropping out of secondary school (an event that follows the parents' job loss by many years). The treatment is an additional year reared in a family with regularly employed parents, which can be interpreted as additional human capital investment. We provide bounding estimates to the causal effect. The estimated bounds are tight, they show a substantial effect, and the effect is significantly stronger for preschool age children than for older ones.