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Journal Article

Can’t work or won’t work: quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents

Authors

Publication date

Apr 2018

Summary

Increasing the labour market participation of single parents, whether to boost incomes or reduce welfare spending, is a major policy objectives in a number of countries. This paper presents causal evidence on the impact of work search requirements on single parents’ transitions into work and onto other benefits. We use rich administrative data on all single parent welfare recipients, and apply a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the staggered roll-out of a reform in the UK that gradually decreased the age of the youngest child at which single parents lose the right to an unconditional cash benefit. Consistent with the predictions of a simple search model, the work search requirements have heterogeneous impacts, leading some single parents to move into work (especially those with strong previous labour market attachments), but leading some (especially those with weak previous labour market attachments) to move onto disability benefits (with no search conditionalities) or non-claimant unemployment.

Published in

Labour Economics

Volume and page numbers

51 , 63 -85

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2017.10.002

Subjects

Disability, Labour Market, Unemployment, Childbearing: Fertility, and Welfare Benefits

Notes

Open Access; Open Access funded by Economic and Social Research Council; Under a Creative Commons license


Related publications

  1. Can’t work or won’t work: quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents

    Silvia Avram, Mike Brewer, and Andrea Salvatori

    1. Disability
    2. Labour Market
    3. Unemployment
    4. Childbearing: Fertility
    5. Welfare Benefits
  2. Can’t work or won’t work: quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents

    Silvia Avram, Mike Brewer, and Andrea Salvatori

    1. Disability
    2. Labour Market
    3. Unemployment
    4. Childbearing: Fertility
    5. Welfare Benefits

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