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Unintended consequences of welfare reform for children with single parents: a theoretical analysis

  • Francesconi, Marco
  • Rainer, Helmut
  • Klaauw,

This paper formulates a model to examine the effects of changes in tax-benefit policy on the behavior of divorced parents and the well-being of children in single-parent households. Noncustodial parents choose the level of a child support payment to transfer to custodians. These, in turn, decide over child good expenditures and the allocation of time between market work and parenting. Our main finding shows that welfare policies that subsidize childcare expenditures or reduce withdrawal rates, which are most certainly intended to improve the conditions of working single parents and their children, could actually have the reverse effect.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20333.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economics of the Household (2013): pp. 1-25
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20333
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  1. Blundell, Richard & Brewer, Mike & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "Job Changes and Hours Changes: Understanding the Path of Labour Supply Adjustment," IZA Discussion Papers 3044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 2001. "Efficiency in Marriage," NBER Working Papers 8642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2006. "Child Support and Partnership Dissolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C93-C109, 03.
  4. John Ermisch & Chiara Pronzato, 2008. "Intra-Household Allocation of Resources: Inferences from Non-resident Fathers' Child Support Payments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 347-362, 03.
  5. Flinn, Christopher J, 2000. "Modes of Interaction between Divorced Parents," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 545-78, August.
  6. V. Joseph Hotz & John Karl Scholz, 2001. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 8078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," Working Papers 102-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  8. Del Boca, D. & Flinn, C.J., 1993. "Rationalizing Child Support Decisions," Working Papers 93-16, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Jeffrey Grogger & Lynn A. Karoly, 2007. "The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review," Working Papers 531, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  10. Konrad, Kai A & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1995. " Family Policy with Non-cooperative Families," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 581-601, December.
  11. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-92, July.
  12. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, 08.
  13. Mike Brewer & Marco Francesconi & Paul Gregg & Jeffrey Grogger, 2009. "Feature: In-work Benefit Reform in a Cross-National Perspective - Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages F1-F14, 02.
  14. Francesconi, Marco & Rainer, Helmut & Klaauw,, 2009. "The effects of in-work benefit reform in Britain on couples: Theory and evidence," Munich Reprints in Economics 20334, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Bernal, Raquel & Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 164-189, May.
  16. Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2004. "The Economic Consequences of Absent Parents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  17. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1993. "Transfers among Divorced Couples: Evidence and Interpretation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 629-79, October.
  18. Francesconi, Marco & Rainer, Helmut & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2007. "The Effects of In-Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Martin Halla, 2013. "The Effect Of Joint Custody On Family Outcomes," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 278-315, 04.
  20. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
  21. Samara Gunter, 2013. "Effects of child support pass-through and disregard policies on in-kind child support," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 193-209, June.
  22. Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of "In-Work" Benefit Reform for British Lone Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  23. Liu, Haiyong & Mroz, Thomas A. & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2010. "Maternal employment, migration, and child development," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 212-228, May.
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