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

Avram, Silvia and Brewer, Mike and Salvatori, Andrea (2018) 'Can’t work or won’t work: quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents.' Labour Economics, 51. pp. 63-85. ISSN 0927-5371

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Increasing the labour market participation of single parents, whether to boost incomes or reduce welfare spending, is a major policy objective 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, but leading some (especially those with weak previous labour market attachments) to move onto disability benefits (with no search conditionalities) or non-claimant unemployment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Single parents; Active labour market policy; Work search conditionalities; Disability benefits
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 15:18
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:52

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