In a series of reforms between 2008 and 2012, the government incrementally reduced the child age eligibility requirements for lone parents claiming Income Support, replacing the Income Support regime with active job search and Job Search Allowance for these claimants. The gradual nature of these reforms allows us to isolate the effects that this change in incentives has had on lone mother employment.
This paper finds that:
- The reforms have increased employment for lone mothers of older children by approximately 3 percentage points
- The data are consistent with lone mothers with young children being less responsive to changes in work incentives
- Lone mothers with higher levels of qualifications are more responsive to the reforms than lone mothers with lower qualifications