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Can't work or won't work: Quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents

Silvia Avram, Mike Brewer () and Andrea Salvatori

Labour Economics, 2018, vol. 51, issue C, 63-85

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Single parents; Active labour market policy; Work search conditionalities; Disability benefits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H53 I38 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Related works:
Working Paper: Can’t work or won’t work: quasi-experimental evidence on work search requirements for single parents (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Can't Work or Won't Work: Quasi-Experimental Evidence on Work Search Requirements for Single Parents (2016) Downloads
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