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The Evolution of Welfare Participation Among Canadian Lone Mothers From 1973 ­ 1991

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  • Martin D. Dooley

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to analyse changes in the welfare participation of Canadian lone mothers between 1973 and 1991. Lone mothers under age 35 do show an increasing reliance on SA income accompanied by stagnant wages and declining levels of market work and earnings. In contrast, lone mothers age 35 and over exhibit a declining reliance on SA income accompanied by rising levels of market work, wages and earnings income. Estimates of a simple economic­demographic probit model of welfare participation are both consistent with theoretical expectations and capable of accounting for a large portion of the very different observed trends for older and younger lone mothers. Much of the declining welfare use among older lone mothers can be explained by decreasing family size, increasing education and market wages which grew at the same rate as welfare benefits. Much of the rising welfare use among younger lone mothers can be explained by a decline in wages relative to welfare benefits accompanied by a mixed pattern of demographic change for this age group. Among younger lone mothers, modest declines in family size and increases in schooling were offset by a large increase in the proportion never married.

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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/CILN/cilnwp17.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers with number 17.

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Length: 33 pages
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Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:17

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References

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  2. Christofides, L.N. & Stengos, T. & Swidinsky, R., 1996. "Welfare Participation and Labour Market Behaviour in Canada," Working Papers 1996-6, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  3. Martin D. Dooley, 1994. "Women, Children and Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(4), pages 430-443, December.
  4. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  5. Michael Charette & Ronald Meng, 1994. "The Determinants of Welfare Participation of Female Heads of Household in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 290-306, May.
  6. Saul D. Hoffman & E. Michael Foster, 1997. "AFDC Benefits and Nonmarital Births to Young Women," JCPR Working Papers 3, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  7. David Card & Philip Robins, 1996. "Do Financial Incentives Encourage Welfare Recipients to Work? Early Findings from the Canadian Self Sufficiency Project," Working Papers 738, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Allen, Douglas W, 1993. "Welfare and the Family: The Canadian Experience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages S201-23, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ronald D. Kneebone & Katherine G. White, 2009. "Fiscal Retrenchment and Social Assistance in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 35(1), pages 21-40, March.
  2. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett & Myers, Karen & Myles, John, 2008. "The Demographic Foundations of Rising Employment and Earnings Among Single Mothers in Canada and the United States, 1980 to 2000," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2008305e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Martin Dooley, 1998. "Lone Female Headship and Welfare Policy in Canada," Department of Economics Working Papers 1998-02, McMaster University.
  4. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 1998. "Family Background, Family Income, Maternal Work and Child Development," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 78, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  5. Nathan Berg & Todd Gabel, 2014. "New Reform Strategies and Welfare Participation in Canada," Working Papers 1402, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2014.
  6. Martin Dooley, Ross Finnie, 2006. "Welfare Policy, Language Group and the Duration of Lone Motherhood Spells," Department of Economics Working Papers 2006-03, McMaster University.

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