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Single mothers and incentives to work: The French experience

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of the 1998 reform of the French single parents allowance on the labor supply of single mothers with very young children. The reform aimed at encouraging participation by allowing eligible single parents to accumulate benefits and labor earnings for a limited period of time. Using data from the French Employment Survey, the analysis shows that single mothers affected by the reform had experienced a significant increase in their employment rate four years after the reform was implemented. During the same period, the employment rate of married mothers with young children did not experience a significant change, suggesting that at least part of the increase was a consequence of the reform. These results provide some evidence that benefit schedules that provide financial incentives to work can have significant effects in getting single moms back to work, even in the presence of very young children.

Suggested Citation

  • Libertad González Luna, 2005. "Single mothers and incentives to work: The French experience," Economics Working Papers 818, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:818
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marc Gurgand & David Margolis, 2005. "Does work pay in France? Monetary incentives and the guaranteed minimum income," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla05002, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    2. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00193282 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. David Card, 1990. "Intertemporal Labor Supply: An Assessment," Working Papers 649, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    5. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, January.
    6. Gonzalez, Libertad, 2004. "Single Mothers and Work," IZA Discussion Papers 1097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1991. "Welfare Benefits and Lone Parents' Employment in Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 424-456.
    8. Marc Gurgand & David Margolis, 2001. "RMI et revenus du travail : une évaluation des gains financiers à l'emploi," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 346(1), pages 103-122.
    9. Paul Gregg & Elizabeth Washbrook & Carol Propper & Simon Burgess, 2005. "The Effects of a Mother's Return to Work Decision on Child Development in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 48-80, February.
    10. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Lone Mothers' Employment and Full-Time Work Probabilities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 310-320, March.
    11. Eissa, Nada & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2008. "Evaluation of four tax reforms in the United States: Labor supply and welfare effects for single mothers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 795-816, April.
    12. Paul Gregg & Susan Harkness, 2003. "Welfare Reform and Lone Parents Employment in the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/072, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Single mothers; labor supply; welfare benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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