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Child support enforcement in the United States: Has policy made a difference?

  • Huang, Chien-Chung
  • Han, Ke-Qing
Registered author(s):

    Over the past few decades, the federal government has intensified child support enforcement policies in response to high rates of child poverty and single-mother households. This study provides a comprehensive review of empirical, peer-reviewed articles from the past 20years on the direct effects of child support enforcement policies on payments to custodial mothers and the indirect effects of these policies on behaviors such as fertility, sexual activity, welfare utilization, father involvement, and labor participation. The review indicates that child support enforcement has contributed to an increase in child support payments to custodial mothers. Additionally, strong enforcement is associated with low nonmarital fertility, risky sexual behavior, and welfare utilization and high father involvement. Policy implications are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019074091100449X
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 622-627

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:622-627
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

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    1. Richard B. Freeman & Jane Waldfogel, 2001. "Dunning Delinquent Dads: The Effects of Child Support Enforcement Policy on Child Support Receipt by Never Married Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 207-225.
    2. Thomas Hanson & Irwin Garfinkel & Sara Mclanahan & Cynthia Miller, 1996. "Trends in child support outcomes," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 483-496, November.
    3. Judi Bartfeld, 2000. "Child support and the postdivorce economic well-being of mothers, fathers, and children," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 203-213, May.
    4. Irwin Garfinkel & Chien-Chung Huang & Sara S. McLanahan & Daniel S. Gaylin, 2003. "The roles of child support enforcement and welfare in non-marital childbearing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 55-70, 02.
    5. Harry J. Holzer & Paul Offner & Elaine Sorensen, 2005. "Declining employment among young black less-educated men: The role of incarceration and child support," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 329-350.
    6. Maureen A. Pirog & Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, 2006. "Child support enforcement: Programs and policies, impacts and questions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 943-990.
    7. Chien-Chung Huang & Irwin Garfinkel & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Child Support Enforcement and Welfare Caseloads," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    8. H. Elizabeth Peters & Laura Argys & Heather Howard & J. Butler, 2004. "LEGISLATING LOVE: The Effect of Child Support and Welfare Policies on Father–child Contact," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 255-274, 05.
    9. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-92, July.
    10. Huang, Chien-Chung & Edwards, Richard L., 2009. "The relationship between state efforts and child support performance," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 243-248, February.
    11. Elaine Sorensen & Ariel Hill, 2004. "Single Mothers and Their Child-Support Receipt: How Well Is Child-Support Enforcement Doing?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    12. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara Mclanahan, 2003. "Explaining trends in child support: Economic, demographic, and policy effects," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 171-189, February.
    13. Daniel R. Meyer & Mei-Chen Hu, 1999. "A Note on the Antipoverty Effectiveness of Child Support among Mother-Only Families," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 225-234.
    14. Daniel Meyer, 1993. "Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, February.
    15. Chien-Chung Huang & James Kunz & Irwin Garfinkel, 2002. "The effect of child support on welfare exits and re-entries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 557-576.
    16. Robert I. Lerman & Elaine Sorensen, 2001. "Child Support: Interaction Between Private and Public Transfers," NBER Working Papers 8199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Lauren M. Rich & Irwin Garfinkel & Qin Gao, 2007. "Child support enforcement policy and unmarried fathers' employment in the underground and regular economies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 791-810.
    18. John W. Graham & Philip K. Robins, 1995. "A Comment on "Why Did Child Support Award Levels Decline from 1978 to 1985?" by Philip K. Robins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 622-632.
    19. Cassetty, Judith H. & Hutson, Royce, 2005. "Effectiveness of federal incentives in shaping child support enforcement outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 271-289, March.
    20. Maria Cancian & Daniel R. Meyer & Emma Caspar, 2008. "Welfare and child support: Complements, not substitutes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 354-375.
    21. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
    22. Besharov, Douglas J. & Gardiner, Karen N., 1997. "Trends in Teen Sexual Behavior," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-6), pages 341-367.
    23. repec:mpr:mprres:6557 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Lenna Nepomnyaschy, 2007. "Child support and father-child contact: Testing reciprocal pathways," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 93-112, February.
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