Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Shirley Adelstein (Georgetown University) has posted "Single Mothers and Marriage Promotion: Considering the Consequences of Divorce" on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Concerns about the relationship between family structure and poverty have led to the emergence of public policies aimed at promoting marriage as an anti-poverty strategy. The disproportionately high poverty rates among female-headed households make the women who head them likely targets for such programs. Using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, this study employs regression-based simulations to show how never married mothers would fare in marriage and divorce relative to their actual poverty levels and relative to the actual poverty levels of married and divorced mothers who have had a non-marital first birth. The results show that the benefits of marriage for never married mothers are highly conditional on the possibility of divorce, spousal quality, and differences in the characteristics of never married, married, and divorced women. These results have implications for the potential efficacy and design of marriage promotion programs.