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Single Mothers Working at Night: Standard Work, Child Care Subsidies, and Implications for Welfare Reform

  • Erdal Tekin

Using a data set from the post welfare reform environment (the 1999 National Survey of America's Families), this paper investigates the impact of child care subsidies on the standard work (i.e., work performed during the traditional work hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. through Monday and Friday) decision of single mothers and tests whether this impact differs between welfare recipients and nonrecipients. The econometric strategy accounts for sample selection into the labor force and the potential endogeneity of child care subsidy receipt and welfare participation. Results suggest that child care subsidies are associated with a 6 percentage point increase in the probability of single mothers working at standard jobs. When the impact of subsidies is allowed to differ between welfare recipients and non-recipients, results indicate that welfare recipients are 14 percentage points more likely to work at standard jobs than others when they are offered a child care subsidy. Among non-recipients, child care subsidies increase standard work probability by only 1 percentage point. These results underscore the importance of child care subsidies helping low-income parents, especially welfare recipients, find jobs with conventional or standard schedules and lend support to the current practice of states' giving priority to welfare recipients for child care subsidies. Results are found to be robust to numerous specification checks.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10274.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Publication status: published as Erdal Tekin, 2007. "Single Mothers Working At Night: Standard Work And Child Care Subsidies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(2), pages 233-250, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10274
Note: LS PE
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  1. H. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2000. "Nonprofit Sector and Part-Time Work: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data of Child Care Workers," NBER Working Papers 7977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  3. Jeffrey Grogger, 2003. "The Effects of Time Limits, the EITC, and Other Policy Changes on Welfare Use, Work, and Income among Female-Headed Families," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 394-408, May.
  4. Gabriel A. Picone & Frank A. Sloan & Shin-Yi Chou & Donald H. Taylor, 2003. "Does Higher Hospital Cost Imply Higher Quality of Care?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 51-62, February.
  5. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
  6. Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies, Quality of Care, and the Labor Supply of Low-Income, Single Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 635-42, November.
  7. Marcia Meyers & Theresa Heintze & Douglas Wolf, 2002. "Child care subsidies and the employment of welfare recipients," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 165-179, February.
  8. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
  9. David M. Blau, 2000. "Child Care Subsidy Programs," NBER Working Papers 7806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:mpr:mprres:1852 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Ellen Eliason Kisker & Anu Rangarajan & Kimberly Boller, 1998. "Moving into Adulthood: Were the Impacts of Mandatory Programs for Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents Sustained After the Programs Ended?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a5f523e41f4c4b17a2e43cd4c, Mathematica Policy Research.
  12. Jean Kimmel & Lisa Powell, 2001. "Nonstandard Work and Child Care Choices of Married Mothers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-74, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  13. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
  14. Patricia M. Anderson & Phillip B. Levine, 1999. "Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 64, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  15. Lynne Casper & Martin O’Connell, 1998. "Work, income, the economy, and married fathers as child-care providers," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 243-250, May.
  16. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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