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The Determinants of the Prevalence of Single Mothers: A Cross-Country Analysis

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  • Gonzalez, Libertad

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of public assistance, labor market and marriage market conditions on the prevalence of single mother families across countries and over time. A multinomial logit derived from a random utility approach is estimated using individual-level data for 14 countries. I find evidence that increases in the level of public support are significantly and positively associated with a higher incidence of both never married and divorced mothers. The results also suggest that single mothers are more prevalent when female wages are lower. Higher male earnings and employment opportunities in a woman's marriage market appear to lead to fewer never married mothers, but more divorced mothers. Higher child support or alimony payments are associated with a higher prevalence of divorced mothers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1677.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1677

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Keywords: single mothers; marriage; fertility; welfare benefits; marriage markets;

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Cited by:
  1. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Studies in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Kent 0811, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Gonzalez, Libertad, 2004. "Single Mothers and Work," IZA Discussion Papers 1097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2007. "Do Dads matter? Or is it just their money that matters? Unpicking the effects of separation on educational outcomes by and," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200722, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  4. Gonzalez, Libertad, 2006. "The Effect of Benefits on Single Motherhood in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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