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Are lone mothers responsive to policy changes? The effects of a Norwegian workfare reform on earnings, education and poverty

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  • Pronzato, Chiara
  • Mogstad, Magne

Abstract

High welfare dependency and poverty rate among lone mothers prompted a workfare reform of the Norwegian welfare system for lone parents: activity requirements were brought in, time limits imposed and benefit levels raised. To evaluate the reform we introduce an estimator that, unlike the much used difference-in-difference approach, accounts for the fact that policy changes are typically phased in gradually rather than coming into full effect immediately. We find that the reform has not only led to increased earnings and educational attainment - in the process lowering welfare caseloads and therefore easing the government’s financial burden - but also reduced poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Pronzato, Chiara & Mogstad, Magne, 2008. "Are lone mothers responsive to policy changes? The effects of a Norwegian workfare reform on earnings, education and poverty," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-15
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    1. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
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    1. Chiara Daniela Pronzato, 2015. "Fighting Lone Mothers’ Poverty Through In-Work Benefits: Methodological Issues and Policy Suggestions," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(1), pages 95-122.
    2. Chiara Daniela Pronzato, 2014. "Fighting Lone Mothers’ Poverty through In-Work Benefits. Methodological Issues and Policy Suggestions," CHILD Working Papers Series 23, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    3. Pronzato, Chiara D., 2012. "Comparing Quasi-Experimental Designs and Structural Models for Policy Evaluation: The Case of a Reform of Lone Parental Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 6803, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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