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Why Did Employment and Earnings Rise Among Lone Mothers During the 1980s and 1990s?

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  • Hou, Feng
  • Picot, Garnett
  • Myers, Karen
  • Myles, John
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    Abstract

    Employment rates and earnings among single mothers improved significantly after 1980, and by 2000, low-income rates reached new historic lows. Unlike married mothers, most of the gains among lone mothers were the result of the dynamics of population change and cohort replacement as the large and better educated baby boom generation replaced earlier cohorts and began entering their forties. Most of these gains, moreover, went to older lone mothers. The demographically driven gains of lone mothers in the past quarter century were an historical event unlikely to be repeated in the future. Since the demographic drivers underlying these gains are now nearing maturity, future gains from this source are likely to be modest.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2006282e.

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    Date of creation: 07 Jun 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2006282e

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    Keywords: Employment and unemployment; Families; households and housing; Family types; Household; family and personal income; Income; pensions; spending and wealth; Job training and educational attainment; Labour; Wages; salaries and other earnings;

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    1. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    2. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2005. "Low-fee ($5/day/child) Regulated Childcare Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: a Natural Experiment from Canada," Cahiers de recherche 0508, CIRPEE.
    3. Martin D. Dooley, 1994. "The Converging Market Work Patterns of Married Mothers and Lone Mothers in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 600-620.
    4. Hanming Fang & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Assessing the Impact of Welfare Reform on Single Mothers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 1-116.
    5. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
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    7. Kapsalis, Constantine, 1999. "Social Assistance and the Employment Rate of Lone Mothers: An Analysis of Ontario's Live Experiment," MPRA Paper 25951, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Blau, Francine D & Graham, John W, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 321-39, May.
    9. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    10. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    11. Even, W.E. & Macpherson, D.A., 1992. "Employer Size and Compensation: The Role of Worker Characteristics," Working Papers 1992_09_5, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    12. Drolet, Marie, 2002. "Wives, Mothers and Wages: Does Timing Matter?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002186e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    13. Moffitt, Robert A., 1999. "New developments in econometric methods for labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1367-1397 Elsevier.
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