The Impact of Welfare Benefits on the Conjugal Status of Single Mothers in Canada: Estimates from a Hazard Model
This paper focuses on the determinants of the likelihood of a remarriage (marriage) for female heads with children. Using retrospective data from Statistics Canada's 1990 Family History Survey, the study attempts to identify which socioeconomic characteristics of single mothers are conducive to conjugal union formation (formal or informal). Particular attention is given to external time-varying economic covariates, so as to disentangle the impact they exert on single mothers' propensity to start living with a (new) partner. The empirical analysis is carried out using a proportional hazards model which permits the estimation of the effects of various covariates on the hazard of exiting single parenthood. The most striking result is the strong effect of provincial welfare benefits on conjugal union formation. However, the analysis reveals that single motherhood, far from representing a final state, remains a transitory situation for a majority of women.