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The Effect of Child Support Payments on the Labor Supply of Female Family Heads: An Econometric Analysis

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  • John W. Graham
  • Andrea H. Beller

Abstract

Recent Census Bureau statistics show that women who receive child support payments have higher earnings and work longer hours than women who do not. Does this suggest that child support-unlike all other nonwage income-does not deter work effort, or are women who receive it simply different? We use 1979/1982 CPS data on divorced or separated women to estimate the determinants of hours worked when AFDC participation and child support are endogenous. We find evidence of unobservable differences between women who receive child support and those who do not. Controlling for these, both child support and other nonwage income appear to reduce hours worked, but the deterrent effect of child support is considerably less.

Suggested Citation

  • John W. Graham & Andrea H. Beller, 1989. "The Effect of Child Support Payments on the Labor Supply of Female Family Heads: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 664-688.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:24:y:1989:i:4:p:664-688
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cuesta, Laura & Cancian, Maria, 2015. "The effect of child support on the labor supply of custodial mothers participating in TANF," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 49-56.
    2. D. Del Boca & C. J. Flinn, "undated". "Welfare effects of fixed and percentage-expressed child support awards," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1041-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Pieter A. Gautier & Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Ronald P. Wolthoff, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do Non-Employed Workers Search Enough?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-071/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Pedro Hernandez & Andrea Beller & John Graham, 1995. "Changes in the Relationship Between Child Support Payments and Educational Attainment of Offspring, 1979–1988," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(2), pages 249-260, May.
    5. Judi Bartfeld, 1998. "Child Support and the Post-Divorce Economic Well-Being of Mothers, Fathers, and Children," JCPR Working Papers 50, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. Edin, Kathryn, 1995. "Single mothers and child support: The possibilities and limits of child support policy," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 203-230.
    7. John W. Graham, 1990. "Child Support And Mothers' Employment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 8(1), pages 95-109, January.
    8. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2001. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on the Labor Force Participation and Welfare Recipiency of Single Mothers: Implications for Welfare Reform," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-69, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    9. Irwin Garfinkel & Theresa Heintze & Chien-Chung Huang, 2001. "Child Support Enforcement: Incentives and Well-Being," JCPR Working Papers 215, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    10. Judi Bartfeld, 2000. "Child support and the postdivorce economic well-being of mothers, fathers, and children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(2), pages 203-213, May.
    11. Gautier, Pieter A. & Moraga-González, José L. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2016. "Search costs and efficiency: Do unemployed workers search enough?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 123-139.
    12. Daniel Meyer, 1993. "Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, February.
    13. Marieka M. Klawitter & Irwin Garfinkel, 1992. "Child Support, Routine Income Withholding, And Post-Divorce Income," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(1), pages 52-64, January.
    14. Pieter Gautier & Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Ronald Wolthoff, 2007. "Structural Estimation of Search Intensity: Do non-employed workers search hard enough?," 2007 Meeting Papers 695, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Carole Miller & Jing Xiao, 1999. "Effects of birth spacing and timing on mothers' labor force participation," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 27(4), pages 410-421, December.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. D. R. Meyer & R. Y. Kim, "undated". "Incorporating labor supply responses into the estimated effects of an assured child support benefit," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1033-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    19. Yuval Mazar, 2018. "The effect of child allowances on the labor supply: Evidence from the early 2000s," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2018.07, Bank of Israel.
    20. J. Bartfeld, "undated". "Child Support and the Postdivorce Economic Well-Being of Mothers, Fathers, and Children," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1182-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    21. Robert I. Lerman & Elaine Sorenson, 2003. "Child Support: Interactions between Private and Public Transfers," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 587-628 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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