Essays on womens'[sic] labour market outcomes and welfare participation in the UK
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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