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Time Binds: US Antipoverty Policies, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Single Mothers


  • Randy Albelda


Many US antipoverty programs and measures assume mothers have little, intermittent, or no employment and therefore have sufficient time to care for children, perform household tasks, and apply for and maintain eligibility for these programs. Employment-promotion policies directed toward low-income mothers since the late 1980s have successfully increased their time in the labor force. However, low wages and insufficient employer-based benefits often leave employed single mothers with inadequate material resources to support families and less time to care for their children. The lack of consideration given to the value of poor women's time in both the administration and benefit levels of antipoverty government support, as well as the measures used to calculate poverty, place more binds on poor and low-income mothers' time. Ignoring these binds causes researchers and policymakers to overestimate single mothers' well-being and reduces the effectiveness of the policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Randy Albelda, 2011. "Time Binds: US Antipoverty Policies, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Single Mothers," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 189-214, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:17:y:2011:i:4:p:189-214 DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2011.602355

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Randy Albelda, 2013. "Low-wage mothers on the edge in the US," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 16, pages 257-272 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Marilyn Power, 2013. "A social provisioning approach to gender and economic life," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 1, pages 7-17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Randy Albelda & Diana Salas Coronado, 2014. "Expanding Women's Healthcare Access in the United States: The Patchwork “Universalism†of the Affordable Care Act," Working Papers 2014_02, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    4. Randy Albelda & Michael Carr, 2017. "One Step Forward, One Step Back? Labor Supply Effects of Minimum Wage Increases on Single Parents with Public Child Care Support," Working Papers 2017_01, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.

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