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

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  • Martin D. Dooley

Abstract

Canadian lone mothers under age thirty-five exhibited an increasing reliance on welfare income along with stagnant wages and declining levels of market work and earnings between 1973 and 1991. In contrast, lone mothers age thirty-five and over exhibited a decreasing reliance on welfare income along with rising levels of market work, wages, and earnings. A key factor accounting for rising welfare use among younger lone mothers was a decline in wages relative to welfare benefits accompanied by a mixed pattern of demographic change (falling family size offset by growing proportions of lone mothers who are never married.) Much of the declining welfare use among older lone mothers can be explained by decreasing family size and increasing education accompanied by market wages that grew at the same rate as welfare benefits

Suggested Citation

  • Martin D. Dooley, 1999. "The Evolution of Welfare Participation Among Canadian Lone Mothers From 1973-1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(3), pages 589-612, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:32:y:1999:i:3:p:589-612
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Martin D. Dooley, 1994. "Women, Children and Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(4), pages 430-443, December.
    3. Louis N. Christofides & Thanasis Stengos & Robert Swidinsky, 1997. "Welfare Participation and Labour Market Behaviour in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 595-621, August.
    4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    5. Saul D. Hoffman & E. Michael Foster, 2000. "AFDC Benefits and Nonmarital Births to Young Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 376-391.
    6. Allen, Douglas W, 1993. "Welfare and the Family: The Canadian Experience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 201-223, January.
    7. David Card & Philip K. 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. 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.
    9. 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..
    10. repec:fth:prinin:359 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Nathan & Gabel, Todd, 2010. "New Reform Strategies and Welfare Participation in Canada," MPRA Paper 26591, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Martin Dooley & Ross Finnie, 2008. "Welfare Policy, Language Group, and the Duration of Lone Motherhood Spells," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(1), pages 37-64, March.
    3. Hou, Feng & Myers, Karen & Myles, John & Picot, Garnett, 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Martin D. Dooley & Stéphane Gascon & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2000. "Lone Female Headship and Welfare Policy in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 587-602.

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