Thanks for nothing: changes in income and labor force participation for never-married mothers since 1982

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Publication Type Working Paper
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Family & Consumer Studies; Sociology
Program Institute of Public and International Affairs (IPIA)
Creator Wolfinger, Nicholas H.
Other Author McKeever, Matthew
Title Thanks for nothing: changes in income and labor force participation for never-married mothers since 1982
Date 2006-07-26
Description This study examines whether the changing social and economic characteristics of women who give birth out of wedlock have led to higher family incomes. Using Current Population Survey data collected between 1982 and 2002, we find that never-married mothers remain poor. They have made modest economic gains, but these have disproportionately occurred at the top of the income distribution. Yet there is no evidence of a burgeoning class of "Murphy Browns," middle-class professional women who give birth out of wedlock. Surprisingly, never-married mothers' incomes have stagnated in spite of impressive gains in education and other personal and vocational characteristics that should have resulted in greater economic progress than has been the case. These gains cast doubt on various stereotypes about women who give birth out of wedlock.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
First Page 1
Last Page 43
Subject Motherhood; Single Mothers; Income; Population surveys
Subject LCSH Single mothers; Income
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation McKeever, M. & Wolfinger, N.H. (2006). Thanks for Nothing: Changes in Income and Labor Force Participation for Never-Married Mothers since 1982. Institute of Public & International Affairs (IPIA), 4, 1-43.
Series Institute of Public and International Affairs Working Papers
Rights Management (c) Matthew McKeever and Nicholas H. Wolfinger
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 370,155 Bytes
Identifier ir-main,824
ARK ark:/87278/s6514g9r
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 702367
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6514g9r
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