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Single Mothers and Work

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  • Gonzalez, Libertad

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

Western countries differ greatly in the extent to which single mothers participate in the labor market. Using LIS data for 15 countries, I propose and estimate a simple structural model of labor supply that incorporates the main variables that influence the work decision for single mothers. The results suggest that a large part of the cross country variation in the employment rates of single mothers can be explained by their different demographic characteristics and by the variation in expected income in the in-work versus out-of-work states. Women with higher expected earnings are more likely to work. Higher in-work benefits encourage employment. Single mothers with higher income from other sources, including child support, are less likely to work. Even after demographic and income variables are controlled for, the country dummies remain significant. This indicates that other variables not explicitly incorporated in the model, such as childcare arrangements or social and cultural backgrounds, may also play a relevant role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1097.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Socio-Economic Review, 2004, 2 (2), 285-313
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1097

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Keywords: single mothers; labor supply;

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References

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  1. Libertad González Luna, 2005. "The determinants of the prevalence of single mothers: A cross-country analysis," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 876, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, . "An Empirical Analysis of Life Cycle Fertility and Female Labor Supply," University of Chicago - Population Research Center, Chicago - Population Research Center 86-15, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  3. Mincer, Jacob, 1985. "Intercountry Comparisons of Labor Force Trends and of Related Developments: An Overview," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S1-32, January.
  4. John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1991. "Welfare Benefits and Lone Parents' Employment in Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 424-456.
  5. T. Paul Schultz, 1994. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 637-669.
  6. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  7. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Lone Mothers' Employment and Full-Time Work Probabilities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 310-20, March.
  8. Edward Montgomery & John Navin, 1996. "Cross-State Variation in Medicaid Programs and Female Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Maria J. Hanratty, 1994. "Social Welfare Programs for Women and Children: The United States versus France," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 301-332 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Frish, Roni & Zussman, Noam, 2008. "The effect of transfer payments on the labor supply of single mothers," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 627-643, April.
  2. Tasnim Khan & Rana Ejaz Ali Khan, 2009. "Urban Informal Sector: How Much Women Are Struggling for Family Survival," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95.
  3. Yin King Fok & Sung-Hee Jeon & Roger Wilkins, 2009. "Does Part-Time Employment Help or Hinder Lone Mothers Movements into Full-Time Employment?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2009n25, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Libertad González Luna, 2005. "Single mothers and incentives to work: The French experience," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 818, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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