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Welfare Benefits and Lone Parents' Employment in Great Britain


  • John F. Ermisch
  • Robert E. Wright


The analysis pools ten years of General Household Surveys to identify the effects of Britain's welfare benefit system on a lone mother's probability of employment. It confirms the prediction that, because of the implicit 100 percent tax rate in the system, higher nonlabor income (other than welfare benefits) increases the probability while a higher benefit guarantee reduces it. The analysis also confirms that among women who could never be eligible for benefits, higher nonlabor income reduces the probability of employment and the guarantee has no effect.

Suggested Citation

  • John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1991. "Welfare Benefits and Lone Parents' Employment in Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 424-456.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:26:y:1991:i:3:p:424-456

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-235, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Magne Mogstad & Chiara Pronzato, 2008. "Are lone mothers responsive to policy changes? The effects of a Norwegian workfare reform on earnings, education and poverty," Working Papers 008, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Andreas Peichl, 2016. "Own-wage labor supply elasticities: variation across time and estimation methods," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, December.
    3. Costas Meghir & David Phillips, 2008. "Labour supply and taxes," IFS Working Papers W08/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Libertad González Luna, 2005. "Single mothers and incentives to work: The French experience," Economics Working Papers 818, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Magne Mogstad & Chiara Pronzato, 2012. "Are Lone Mothers Responsive to Policy Changes? Evidence from a Workfare Reform in a Generous Welfare State," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1129-1159, December.
    6. Matthias Staat & Gerhard Wagenhals, 1996. "Lone mothers: A review," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 131-140, June.
    7. Olivier Bargain & Kristian Orsini & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Comparing Labor Supply Elasticities in Europe and the United States: New Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 723-838.
    8. Colm Harmon & Claire Finn & Arnaud Chevalier & Tarja Viitanen, 2006. "The economics of early childhood care and education : technical research paper for the National Economic and Social Forum," Open Access publications 10197/671, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    9. Dalit Contini & Nicola Negri, 2005. "Would Declining Exit Rates from Welfare Provide Evidence of Welfare Dependence in Homogeneous Environments?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 39, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    10. Richiardi Matteo & Contini Dalit, 2008. "Active and Passive Policies Against Poverty with Decreasing Employability," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 245-272.
    11. Gonzalez, Libertad, 2004. "Single Mothers and Work," IZA Discussion Papers 1097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    13. Ermisch, John F. & Wright, Robert E., 1995. "Lone parenthood and employment: male-female differences in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 299-317, September.

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