Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Poverty and Single Mothers

The June NBER Digest is out, covering these topics:
  • Megan’s Law Hits Local Property Prices
  • Canada’s Universal Childcare Hurt Children and Families
  • The Safety and Efficacy of the FDA
  • Why Poverty Persists
Here is an excerpt from the last piece:
The period after 1980 saw large changes in family structure -- notably a doubling of the percent of families headed by a single woman. Because poverty rates among female-headed families are typically 3 or 4 times the level in the overall population, such changes in the distribution of family types can have potentially large effects on poverty. The authors find that these changes in family structure can account for a 3.7 percentage point increase in poverty rates, more than the entire rise in the poverty rate, from 10.7 percent to 12.8 percent since 1980.