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Labor Supply Decisions of Rural Low-Income Mothers

Author

Listed:
  • Sheila Mammen

    () (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Daniel Lass

    () (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Sharon B. Seiling

    () (Department of Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University)

Abstract

Labor force participation is crucial to the economic well-being of low-income rural families. This study identified the factors that influence two decisions that low-income rural mothers make regarding their employment: labor force entry and number of hours supplied to employment. The sample consisted of 412 rural low-income mothers who participated in a multi-state study. The logistic regression model correctly predicted 80 percent of their work participation decisions. Employed rural mothers appeared to be older, better educated, and less likely to suffer from depression compared to those not working. Additionally, they were more likely to have an employed partner, a driver’s license, child care assistance, and Earned Income Tax Credit from the previous year. The estimated labor supply function explained 33 percent of the variation in hours worked by the 208 employed rural mothers. Higher wages, availability of health insurance, and overtime benefits predicted the number of hours that these employed mothers were willing to work.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheila Mammen & Daniel Lass & Sharon B. Seiling, 2007. "Labor Supply Decisions of Rural Low-Income Mothers," Working Papers 2007-12, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2007-12
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    File URL: http://courses.umass.edu/resec/workingpapers/documents/ResEcWorkingPaper2007-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gregory Acs & Pamela Loprest, 1999. "The effect of disabilities on exits from AFDC," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 28-49.
    2. Michelle M. Livermore & Rebecca S. Powers, 2006. "Employment of Unwed Mothers: The Role of Government and Social Support," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 479-494, September.
    3. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(4), pages 1063-1106, December.
    4. Jane Wheelock & Elizabeth Oughton & Susan Baines, 2003. "Getting By with a Little Help from Your Family: Toward a Policy-Relevant Model of the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 19-45.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural Low-income Mothers; Labor Force Participation; Women’s Labor Supply; Welfare Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R29 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Other

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