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The Changing Role of Child Support among Never-Married Mothers


  • J. Bartfeld
  • D. R. Meyer


This paper documents the changing role of child support as an income source to never-married mothers during the 1990s. Data are drawn from multiple panels of the Current Population Survey. We find that child support receipt has increased among successive cohorts of never-married mothers, and that within cohorts, child support increases over the first years of a child’s life. Changes in child support have occurred in tandem with substantial changes in other income sources, notably declines in public assistance and gains in earnings. Despite recent gains, child support plays only a minor role in the income packages of never-married mothers.

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  • J. Bartfeld & D. R. Meyer, "undated". "The Changing Role of Child Support among Never-Married Mothers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1200-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1200-99

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    2. I. Garfinkel & P. K. Robins, "undated". "The relationship between child support enforcement tools and child support outcomes," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1004-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Larry Bumpass & R. Raley, 1995. "Redefining single-parent families: Cohabitation and changing family reality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(1), pages 97-109, February.
    4. Elizabeth Phillips & Irwin Garfinkel, 1993. "Income growth among nonresident fathers: evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(2), pages 227-241, May.
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