Essays on womens'[sic] labour market outcomes and welfare participation in the UK
The thesis examines the changes in the labour market behaviour and welfare participation of women in the UK. Over recent decades the UK has seen a dra- matic rise in women s labour force participation. This growth led to remarkable shifts in the families employment structure. The UK has seen a rapid decline in the male breadwinner model of employment due to rising dual-earner and single-adult households over the years. In spite of this, the employment rate of single moth- ers is one of the lowest amongst other mothers and other OECD countries. While Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 evaluate two of the largest welfare transfers in the UK in search for potential explanations for it, Chapter 3 traces the factors behind the rise in dual-earner households. More precisely Chapter 1 investigates the impact of the automatic withdrawal of Income Support on labour supply decisions of single mothers with no quali cations. Consistent with a simple labour supply model, a substantial rise in mothers employment rate and an increase in job search e¤ort are reported. Indeed 20% of single mothers who were initially on Income Sup- port enter work following the bene t withdrawal. Chapter 2 studies the potential causal relationship between the bene t withdrawal and the availability of disability transfers. It is observed that 25% of single mothers with no quali cations who lose Income Support transit into disability bene ts rather than work, in line with the predictions of a model of bene ts choice. Finally, Chapter 3 uses a decomposition exercise à-la-DiNardo-Fortin-Lemieux (1996) to pin down the rise in dual-earner households to changes in: (1) returns to female characteristics conditional on fe- male labour force participation; (2) returns to male characteristics; (3) assortative mating; and (4) female characteristics. Female labour force participation appears to be the primary factor while assortative mating plays a modest role.
- Theses