12 Oct
Single Parent Poverty

Family Policies and Single Parent Poverty (poster edition)

Single parent families have an increased risk of living in poverty, which is partially associated with their higher risk of not being in employment, or to work fewer hours or in lower prestige occupations. Last week, I reported on our new publication in the Community, Work & Family journal, with Laurie C. Maldonado, on the link between family policies and single parent poverty. We found that paid leave and family allowances reduce the poverty risk of all families with children, and particularly so among single parent families.

We created a poster, to highlight our main findings. It can be downloaded from this website.

Key findings:

  • Single-parent households are found to be more likely to be poor than two-parent households, and single mothers are more likely to be poor than single fathers.
  • Employment is associated with lower poverty, particularly in professional occupations and for dual earners.
  • Parental leave, if paid, reduces poverty most strongly among single mothers, because it facilitates their employment.
  • Family allowances reduce poverty among two-parent households with up to 3 percentage points, and among single-parent households (mothers and fathers) up to 13 percentage points.
  • Findings based on data from LIS Database, covering 519,825 households in 18 OECD countries from 1978 to 2008, combined with data from the Comparative Family Policy Database.
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