A Couples-Based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families

39 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2003

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Chris Ryan

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Robert V. Breunig

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2003

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to evaluate a "couples-based" policy intervention designed to reduce the number of Australian families without work. In 2000 and 2001, the Australian Government piloted a new counseling initiative targeted towards couple-headed families with dependent children in which neither partner was in paid employment. Selected women on family benefits who were partnered with men receiving unemployment benefits) were randomly invited to participate in an interview process designed to identify strategies for increasing economic and social participation. While some women were interviewed on their own, others participated in a joint interview with their partners. Our results indicate that the overall effect of the interview process led to lower hours of work among family benefit recipients in the intervention group than the control group, but to greater participation and hours in job search and in study or training for work-related reasons. At the same time, there are few significant differences in the effect of the interview process on the economic and social activity of women interviewed with and without their unemployed partners.

Keywords: income-support policy, randomized experiment, treatment effects

JEL Classification: H3, I38, J68

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Ryan, Chris and Breunig, Robert V., A Couples-Based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families (August 2003). IZA Discussion Paper No. 864. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=446261

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Chris Ryan

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 6125 3881 (Phone)
61 2 6125 0182 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econrsss.anu.edu.au/Staff/ryan/contact_cr.htm

Robert V. Breunig

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia
61261252148 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://crawford.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/rbreunig.php

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
37
Abstract Views
727
PlumX Metrics