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The Impact of Welfare Benefits on the Conjugal Status of Single Mothers in Canada: Estimates from a Hazard Model

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  • Pierre Lefebvre
  • Philip Merrigan

Abstract

This paper focuses on the determinants of the likelihood of a remarriage (marriage) for female heads with children. Using retrospective data from Statistics Canada's 1990 Family History Survey, the study attempts to identify which socioeconomic characteristics of single mothers are conducive to conjugal union formation (formal or informal). Particular attention is given to external time-varying economic covariates, so as to disentangle the impact they exert on single mothers' propensity to start living with a (new) partner. The empirical analysis is carried out using a proportional hazards model which permits the estimation of the effects of various covariates on the hazard of exiting single parenthood. The most striking result is the strong effect of provincial welfare benefits on conjugal union formation. However, the analysis reveals that single motherhood, far from representing a final state, remains a transitory situation for a majority of women.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 33 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 742-757

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:33:y:1998:i:3:p:742-757

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Azuara, Oliver, 2011. "Effect of universal health coverage on marriage, cohabitation and labor force participation," MPRA Paper 35074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kristen Harknett & Lisa Gennetian, 2003. "How an earnings supplement can affect union formation among low-income single mothers," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 451-478, August.
  3. David Johnson & Guyonne Kalb, 2002. "Economic Analyses of Families: Existing Research Findings," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2005. "Paternal Uncertainty and the Economics of Mating, Marriage, and Parental Investment in Children," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-046, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2011. "The institution of marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1005-1032, July.
  6. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2007. "Uncertain Paternity, Mating Market Failure, and the Institution of Marriage," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-013, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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