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Conference Paper BHPS-2007 Conference: the 2007 British Household Panel Survey Research Conference, 5 July -7 July 2007, Colchester, UK

Work or welfare? The long-term economic consequences of divorce for British and German women -abstract-


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Numerous studies have shown large declines in women’s income shortly after divorce. Moreover, previous research has shown an increase in labour supply and in welfare dependency of women after divorce. Still, little is known about the long-term divorce consequences for work and welfare. We investigate the trade-off between work and welfare of pre-divorce nonworking women. Furthermore, following women over a 9-year period after their divorce, we try to explain the duration on work or welfare. We examine the effect of individual factors like remarriage, other (private) income, and the age of children. Because the institutional context may also affect the work/welfare decision, we compare data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study and the British Household Panel Survey (1991-1999). We describe which income sources women have afterdivorce and to what extent these sources change in 9 years. By estimating an event history model with competing risks we explain why certain nonworking women start working after divorce, while others start living on welfare (ceteris paribus), as well as the duration on work or welfare.


Labour Market, Family Formation And Dissolution, Welfare Benefits, and Well Being



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