IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lev/wrkpap/wp_45.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Female-Headed Families: Why Are They So Poor?

Author

Listed:
  • Joan R. Rodgers

Abstract

Over the last few decades in the United States, the poverty rate for female-headed families (with no husband present) has been about three times the poverty rate for male-headed families (with no wife present) and about six times the poverty rate for married- couple families. This paper addresses the question of why, in general, female-headed families are so much poorer than other families. A decomposition of poverty rates and a set of probit models are used to identify the factors which determine the poverty rates for the three family types. The following control variables are found to be important determinants of poverty for all three family types: education of family members; age, race, disability, and unemployment of the family head; geographical location, size and age composition of the family. Both married-couple families and male-headed families are found to be less poor than female-headed families mainly because additional units of those control variables which reduce (increase) poverty have a larger (smaller) impact in the case of the former two family types than in the case of female-headed families. Of lesser importance is the fact that female-headed families, on average, have less (more) of those control variables which reduce (increase) poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan R. Rodgers, 1991. "Female-Headed Families: Why Are They So Poor?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_45, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_45
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp45.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joan R. Rodgers, 1990. "Poverty and Household Composition," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_39, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Joan R. Rodgers, 1990. "Poverty and Choice of Marital Status: A Self-Selection Model," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_42, Levy Economics Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Shireen AlAzzawi, 2015. "Endowments or Discrimination? Determinants of Household Poverty in Egypt," Working Papers 931, Economic Research Forum, revised Aug 2015.
    2. Shireen AlAzzawi, 2015. "Is there Feminization of Poverty in Egypt?," Working Papers 926, Economic Research Forum, revised Jul 2015.
    3. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Massa Coulibaly & Luca Tiberti, 2009. "The Impact of the Increase in Food Prices on Child Poverty and the Policy Response in Mali," Papers inwopa09/66, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. Sami Bibi & Massa Coulibaly & John Cockburn & Luca Tiberti, 2009. "L'impact de la hausse des prix des produits alimentaires sur la pauvreté des enfants et les reponses politiques au Mali," Papers inwopa09/60, Innocenti Working Papers.
    5. Sami Bibi & Rim Chatti, 2010. "Gender Poverty in Tunisia: Is there A Feminization Issue?," Working Papers 512, Economic Research Forum, revised 03 Jan 2010.
    6. A. Fernández-Morales & J. Haro-García, 2000. "Women and Poverty in Spain (1981--1991)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 25-36, January.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_45. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elizabeth Dunn). General contact details of provider: http://www.levyinstitute.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.