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Reducing the Welfare Dependence of Unmarried Mothers: Health-Related Employment Barriers and Policy Responses


  • Jean Kimmel

    (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)


In this paper, I examine the importance of health insurance and health status to the employment decisions of single mothers. Using results from an employment probit model, I simulate the likely employment effects of four changes to public and private health insurance policy, including the elimination of Medicaid and mandated employer coverage for full time workers. The employer mandate causes an 11.5 percent increase in the probability of employment of single mothers, while eliminating all Medicaid coverage stimulates a 24 percent increase in work for low income single mothers. Poor maternal and child health are barriers to employment as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Kimmel, 1997. "Reducing the Welfare Dependence of Unmarried Mothers: Health-Related Employment Barriers and Policy Responses," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 151-163, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:2:p:151-163

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brander, James & Krugman, Paul, 1983. "A 'reciprocal dumping' model of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 313-321, November.
    2. Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-519, September.
    4. Panagariya, Arvind & Findlay, Ronald & DEC, 1994. "A political - economy analysis of free trade areas and customs unions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1261, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nazli Baydar & Jutta Joesch & Gail Kieckhefer & Hyoshin Kim & April Greek, 2007. "Employment Behaviors of Mothers Who have a Child with Asthma," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 337-355, September.
    2. Wasi, Nada & den Berg, Bernard van & Buchmueller, Thomas C., 2012. "Heterogeneous effects of child disability on maternal labor supply: Evidence from the 2000 US Census," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 139-154.
    3. Peter Burton & Kelly Chen & Lynn Lethbridge & Shelley Phipps, 2017. "Child health and parental paid work," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 597-620, June.
    4. David Zimmer, 2007. "Child Health and Maternal Work Activity: The Role of Unobserved Heterogeneity," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 43-64, Winter.
    5. Elizabeth T. Powers, 2003. "Children’s Health and Maternal Work Activity: Estimates under Alternative Disability Definitions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).

    More about this item


    Health; Medicaid; Mothers; Policy; Single Mother; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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