Marriage versus Employment: Comparing Antipoverty Strategies for Mothers

Mary C. Noonan, University of Iowa
Minglu Wang, University of Iowa

In recent years, several studies have shown that married women are much less likely than are single women to live in poverty. Another body of research has shown that women’s employment, not surprisingly, is also negatively related to poverty. However, little is known about the role of marriage compared to the role of labor force participation in alleviating poverty among women. We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979-2002) to analyze the impact of transitions into and out of marriage and employment on short-term poverty and long-term poverty. Also, models are estimated separately by race because of important racial differences in the labor market and marriage market.

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Presented in Session 158: Consequences of Marriage