Unintended Consequences of Welfare Reform: The Case of Divorced Parents
Marco Francesconi (),
Helmut Rainer () and
Wilbert van der Klaauw ()
No 3891, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
This paper formulates a model to examine the effects of changes in tax-benefit policy on the behavior of divorced parents and the well-being of children in single-parent households. Noncustodial parents choose the level of a child support payment to transfer to custodians. These, in turn, decide over child good expenditures and the allocation of time between market work and parenting. In general, ex-spouses fail to achieve an efficient allocation of their resources. On the custodial side, there are inefficiently high levels of labor supply and inefficiently low levels of expenditures on child goods, while on the noncustodial side child support payments are suboptimally low. Our results rationalize the adverse effects that welfare reforms might have on divorced parents and their children. Such adverse effects may arise because an increase in the custodian's effective wage, either through lower marginal income tax rates or higher childcare subsidies, reinforces the inefficiencies of divorced parents' decisions: that is, such an increase further depresses child support transfers from noncustodial parents and induces custodial parents to work even more. We explore several extensions of this model, link our findings to the existing empirical literature on the impacts of welfare reform, and discuss the implications of our results for policy and further economic analysis.
Keywords: non-cooperation; child care; in-work benefit reform; non-intact families; child support (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 H31 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-lab
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as 'Unintended Consequences of Welfare Reform for Children with Single Parents: A Theoretical Analysis' in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2015, 13(3), 709-733
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Unintended Consequences of Welfare Reform: The Case of Divorced Parents (2008)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3891
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().