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Relationship break-down and the economic welfare of Australian mothers and their children

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Gray

    () (Australian Institute of Family Studies)

  • Bruce Chapman

    (Australian National University)

Abstract

This paper provides estimates of the effects of divorce on the lifetime incomes of mothers. This is an issue that is not well explored in most countries, and has been essentially untouched empirically in the Australian context. The paper extends the existing literature, which has generally focused on the short-term economic implications of divorce for mothers. Simulations are used to provide insights into the impact of divorce for a host of disparate circumstances. It is found that the relative income costs of divorce differ greatly depending upon the relative earnings capacity of the mother and father. Women with a much lower earning capacity than their partner face particularly large income costs of divorce. It is also found that the relative income costs of divorce fall as the number of children increases. The importance of child support payment to the household income of mothers following divorce is highlighted and that the income of mothers would be higher if they received child support at levels commensurate with the government’s non-resident parent child support rules, rather than the levels they report actually receiving.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gray & Bruce Chapman, 2007. "Relationship break-down and the economic welfare of Australian mothers and their children," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 10(4), pages 253-277, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:10:y:2007:i:4:p:253-277
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hayley Fisher & Hamish Low, 2015. "Financial implications of relationship breakdown: Does marriage matter?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 735-769, December.
    2. Rebecca Kippen & Bruce Chapman & Peng Yu, 2010. "What's love got to do with it? Homogamy and dyadic approaches to understanding marital instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 631, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    3. Fisher, Hayley, 2015. "The Impact of Child Support Receipt on Household Income and Labour Supply," Working Papers 2015-20, University of Sydney, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; marital dissolution; family structure; domestic abuse; Welfare and poverty; government programs; provision and effects of welfare programs; Labour Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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