How to Stimulate Single Mothers on Welfare to Find a Job: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

40 Pages Posted: 24 May 2014

See all articles by Marike Knoef

Marike Knoef

Leiden University, Institute of Tax Law and Economics; Netspar

Jan C. van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

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Abstract

We present the results from a natural experiment in which single mothers on welfare were stimulated to find a job. Two policy instruments were introduced: an earnings disregard and job creation. The experiment was performed at the level of municipalities 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 and some groups of native 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, natural experiment

JEL Classification: C41, C93, I38, J64

Suggested Citation

Knoef, Marike and van Ours, Jan C., How to Stimulate Single Mothers on Welfare to Find a Job: Evidence from a Natural Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8188. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2441484

Marike Knoef (Contact Author)

Leiden University, Institute of Tax Law and Economics ( email )

PO Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

Netspar

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Jan C. Van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

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