The effects of father’s worklessness on young adults in the UK

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

IZA Journal of European Labor Studies


Wouter Zwysen

Publication date


Using the United Kingdom household longitudinal study (UKHLS), this paper shows the effect of experiencing a father being out of work on a range of labour market outcomes as young adults. Children of non-working fathers work less and are less satisfied while working despite similar wages and contract types. A sensitivity analysis shows that this effect of father’s worklessness is robust to the inclusion of strong unobserved confounders, indicating non-spuriousness. Support is found for the idea that young adults who grew up experiencing their father’s worklessness develop a different, less negative attitude, towards being out of work.


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Young People, Labour Market, Unemployment, Well Being and Sociology Of Households



Open Journal Article; © 2015 Zwysen; licensee Springer.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.

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