Mothers of Children Receiving Supplemental Security Income: Sharpening the Focus on Barriers to Employment

Donna R. Morrison, Georgetown University
Jean M. Mitchell, Georgetown University
Darrell Gaskin, Georgetown University

The substantial investments of both parental time and money required for raising a child with severe disabilities exert competing pressures on maternal labor supply. This is especially true for economically disadvantaged, single mothers. With employment and self-sufficiency as key policy goals of welfare reform, there is a press to better understand how entitlement programs, along with other factors, influence the cost-benefit calculus of mothers’ employment decisions when raising an exceptional child. Our aim is to understand how children’s health conditions influence maternal labor supply among poor minority women. We use two waves of a survey of children with special health care needs administered to over 900 minority mothers in the District of Columbia who have a child receiving SSI for one or more disabilities. Children’s health status is systematically assessed across multiple dimensions. We estimate multinomial logit models of labor market activity with an instrumental variable for baseline TANF receipt.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 67: Disability and Work