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THE LABOR SUPPLY OF SINGLE MOTHERS

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D. Training and Child Care Programs

To capture the effect of training programs on the probability of work by single mothers, we focus on the programs specically for AFDC applicants and recipients, rst the Work Incentives (WIN) program and then the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program. Total expenditures as well as the emphasis of these programs changed sharply over our period (see Table I). We construct two variables that measure the character and extent of the JOBS and WIN programs in a state and year. Because edu- cational spending is likely to have a different effect than other spending, we split expenditures into education, and job search/ other. We scale state expenditures by the size of the AFDC mandatory population. These variables are interacted with an indicator for whether a woman would be required to participate in JOBS or WIN (based on the age of her youngest child; these rules differed across states and over time), so that these variables equal zero for single women without children or with children under the age cutoff.

The effects of these training programs on labor supply likely depends on the mix of services provided and the stringency of the participation requirements. Job search assistance, job place- ments, and improving job skills and readiness should lower job search costs, thereby increasing the level of work for women trainees. On the other hand, even with a benecial long-term effect on wages or employment, secondary or postsecondary edu- cation may delay entry into the workforce while women take classes, leading to a short-term negative employment effect. In any case, there is much stronger evidence of employment effects from job search assistance than from education, at least in the short run. 17

The cost and quality of child care is likely to have an impor- tant effect on whether a woman works. The federal role in child care for low-income women expanded greatly following the Fam- ily Support Act of 1988 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. Four large programs started during this period: AFDC Child Care, Transitional Child Care, At-Risk Child Care, and Child Care and Development Block Grants. We focus on these programs because they are particularly important for single mothers and they were the main changes over our period. Total

17. See Gueron and Pauly [1991] and U. S. Department of Health and Human Services [1997b].

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