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Income Instability of Lone Parents, Singles and Two-Parent Families in Canada, 1984 to 2004

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  • Morissette, Rene
  • Ostrovsky, Yuri

Abstract

This paper examines income instability of lone parents, singles and two-parent families in Canada in the past two decades using tax data. We attempt to answer the following questions: Has there been a widespread increase in earnings instability among lone parents (especially lone mothers) and unattached individuals over the past 20 years? How do the trends in earnings instability among lone parents and unattached individuals compare to the trends among the two-parent families? What is the role of government transfers and the progressive tax system in mitigating differences in earnings instability across different segments of the earnings distribution among the above-mentioned groups? We find little evidence of a widespread increase in earnings instability in the past two decades and show that government transfers play a particularly important role in reducing employment income instability of lone mothers and unattached individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Morissette, Rene & Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2007. "Income Instability of Lone Parents, Singles and Two-Parent Families in Canada, 1984 to 2004," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007297e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2007297e
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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M2007297&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
    2. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
    3. Charles M. Beach & Ross Finnie & David Gray, 2003. "Earnings Variability and Earnings Instability of Women and Men in Canada: How Do the 1990s Compare to the 1980s?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(s1), pages 41-64, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment insurance; social assistance and other transfers; Income; pensions; spending and wealth; Labour; Low income and inequality; Wages; salaries and other earnings;

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