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Lone Female Headship and Welfare Policy in Canada

Author

Listed:
  • Martin D. Dooley
  • Stéphane Gascon
  • Pierre Lefebvre
  • Philip Merrigan

Abstract

The principal qualifying condition for welfare in Canada, unlike the United States, is financial need-there are no demographic criteria. We use a time-series of annual, national cross-sections for the period 1981 through 1993 to estimate a model of lone-female headship. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that welfare benefit levels for one-parent and two-parent families are important determinants of the likelihood that a Canadian woman is a lone mother. In all models with provincial fixed effects, the coefficients for welfare benefits are small, statistically insignificant, and often of the unexpected sign. We do find that the probability that a woman is a lone mother is generally associated in the expected fashion with her earnings capacity and the earnings capacity of her potential male partner, and with her age and schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin D. Dooley & Stéphane Gascon & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2000. "Lone Female Headship and Welfare Policy in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 587-602.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:35:y:2000:i:3:p:587-602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
    2. Martin D. Dooley, 1999. "The Evolution of Welfare Participation Among Canadian Lone Mothers From 1973-1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(3), pages 589-612, May.
    3. David Card & W. Craig Riddell, 1993. "A Comparative Analysis of Unemployment in Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 149-190 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Allen, Douglas W, 1993. "Welfare and the Family: The Canadian Experience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 201-223, January.
    5. Martin D. Dooley, 1994. "The Converging Market Work Patterns of Married Mothers and Lone Mothers in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 600-620.
    6. Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
    7. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 1997. "Social Assistance and Conjugal Union Dissolution in Canada: A Dynamic Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 112-134, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lemieux, Thomas & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Incentive effects of social assistance: A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 807-828, February.
    2. Thomas F. Crossley & Lori J. Curtis, 2006. "Child Poverty In Canada," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 237-260, June.
    3. Louis N. Christofides, 2000. "Social assistance and labour supply," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 715-741, August.
    4. Michael Baker & Emily Hanna & Jasmin Kantarevic, 2004. "The Married Widow: Marriage Penalties Matter!," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 634-664, June.
    5. Matthew Brzozowski, 2007. "Welfare Reforms and Consumption among Single Mother Households: Evidence from Canadian Provinces," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(2), pages 227-250, June.
    6. Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
    7. Kristen Harknett & Lisa Gennetian, 2003. "How an earnings supplement can affect union formation among low-income single mothers," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 451-478, August.
    8. JoAnn Kingston-Riechers, 1998. "The Association Between the Frequency of Wife Assault and Marital Dissolution," Department of Economics Working Papers 1998-05, McMaster University.
    9. Frenette, Marc & Picot, Garnett, 2003. "Life After Welfare: The Economic Well-being of Welfare Leavers in Canada During the 1990s," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003192e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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