Single Mothers Working at Night: Standard Work, Child Care Subsidies, and Implications for Welfare Reform
This paper estimates the effect of child care subsidies on the standard work decision of single mothers and examines whether this effect differs between welfare recipients and nonrecipients. The analysis uses data from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families. Results suggest that child care subsidy receipt is associated with a 6.9 percentage point increase in the probability of single mothers' working at standard jobs. When the effect of subsidy receipt is allowed to differ between welfare recipients and nonrecipients, results indicate that welfare recipients who are offered a child care subsidy are 14 percentage points more likely to work at standard jobs than others. Among nonrecipients, child care subsidy receipt increases standard work probability by only 1.8 percentage point. These findings underscore the important role of child care subsidies in helping low income parents, especially welfare recipients, find jobs with conventional or standard schedules. The results also lend support to the policy of giving priority to welfare recipients for child care subsidies. Results are found to be robust to several specification checks.
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