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The Impact of Changing Family Structures on the Income Distribution among Costa Rican Women 1993-2009

Maximilian Kasy () and Alvaro Ramos-Chaves ()

Feminist Economics, 2014, vol. 20, issue 2, 122-144

Abstract: Changes in family structures, such as the composition of households with respect to size, age, and gender, can have an impact on poverty rates and the income distribution more generally. This study analyzes the impact of changing family structures on the income distribution among adult Costa Rican women between 1993 and 2009, using decomposition methods. There was a general increase in the share of family structures associated with lower incomes (singles with dependents) until 2001. After 2001, this trend reversed for women at the upper end of the income distribution, while it continued for women at the lower end. Correspondingly, this study finds a general negative effect of changing family structures on incomes of adult women until 2001, and an inequality-increasing effect after 2001. The change in trends might be due to a law coming into force in 2001 that mandated DNA tests for presumptive fathers unwilling to recognize their children.

Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2013.862343

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