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How to stimulate single mothers on welfare to find a job: evidence from a policy experiment

Marike Knoef and Jan van Ours ()

Journal of Population Economics, 2016, vol. 29, issue 4, No 3, 1025-1061

Abstract: Abstract We present the results from a policy experiment in which single mothers on welfare were stimulated to enter the labor market and increase their work experience. The aim of the policy was not per se for single mothers to leave welfare completely but to encourage them to find a job if only a part-time job. Two policy instruments were introduced: an earnings disregard and job creation. The experiment was performed at the municipality level in the Netherlands, a country with relatively high benefits and low incentives for single mothers to leave welfare for work. In our analysis, we make a distinction between native and immigrant welfare recipients. For immigrant single mothers, we find a positive employment effect of an earnings disregard. Job creation in addition to the earnings disregard increased working hours for some groups of single mothers. Although the outflow from welfare was not affected, welfare expenditures were reduced.

Keywords: Welfare; Single mothers; Policy experiment; Earnings disregard; Job creation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C41 I38 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-016-0593-0

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