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The Effect of Child Support Payments on the Labor Supply of Female Family Heads: An Econometric Analysis

John W. Graham and Andrea H. Beller
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 664-688
DOI: 10.2307/146000
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/146000
Page Count: 25
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The Effect of Child Support Payments on the Labor Supply of Female Family Heads: An Econometric Analysis
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Abstract

Recent Census Bureau statistics show that women who receive child support payments have higher earnings and work longer hours than women who do not. Does this suggest that child support-unlike all other nonwage income-does not deter work effort, or are women who receive it simply different? We use 1979/1982 CPS data on divorced or separated women to estimate the determinants of hours worked when AFDC participation and child support are endogenous. We find evidence of unobservable differences between women who receive child support and those who do not. Controlling for these, both child support and other nonwage income appear to reduce hours worked, but the deterrent effect of child support is considerably less.

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