OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

  • Discontinued
This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.


Breadwinners or Child Rearers

The Dilemma for Lone Mothers

Lone-parent families, particularly the large majority headed by the mother, are over-represented among low income families. Employment and the resultant earnings represent a the main path out of economic disadvantage. This paper examines the pattern of labour force attachment of lone mothers in eight OECD countries. The factors which may affect their labour force participation are considered: the work incentives embedded in public transfer programmes and taxation systems, availability of child care, other arrangements which may help or hinder paid work for all mothers, and the characteristics of lone-mother families which may affect work behaviour. An appendix provides details on the public policies and programme structures affecting lone mothers in each of the eight participating countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The report was compiled by Australia on behalf of a panel of experts nominated by the national administrations of the eight countries included.


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