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The Effect of Benefits on Single Motherhood in Europe

  • Gonzalez, Libertad

    ()

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

This paper uses data from the eight waves of the European Community Household Panel (1994-2001) to estimate the impact of welfare benefits on the incidence of single motherhood and headship among young women across European countries. The regressions include country fixed effects as well as time trends that are allowed to vary by country, to account for fixed and trending unmeasured factors that could influence both benefit levels and family formation. The analysis also accounts for individual characteristics and labor market conditions. The results suggest that benefit levels have a small but significant positive effect on the prevalence of single mothers. An increase in yearly benefits of 1,000 euros is estimated to increase the incidence of single mother families by about 2 percent.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2026.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2026.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2007, 14 (3), 393-412
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2026
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  7. R. A. Moffitt, . "Welfare Benefits and Female Headship in U.S. Time Series," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1219-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  8. Angrist, Joshua, 2001. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. 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.
  12. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1988. "A Comparison of Choice-Based Multinomial and Nested Logit Models: The Family Structure and Welfare Use Decisions of Divorced or Separated Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 550-562.
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  17. Libertad González Luna, 2005. "The determinants of the prevalence of single mothers: A cross-country analysis," Economics Working Papers 876, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Greg Duncan & Saul Hoffman, 1990. "Welfare benefits, economic opportunities, and out-of-wedlock births among black teenage girls," Demography, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 519-535, November.
  19. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 1999. "Welfare, Marital Prospects, and Nonmarital Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S3-S32, December.
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  24. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
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