The Effect of Child Support on the Labor Supply of Custodial Mothers Participating in TANF

Child support is a critical source of income, especially for the growing population of children born to unmarried mothers. Given many single mothers’ limited earnings potential, child support from non-custodial fathers is also important. This paper uses data from a statewide randomized experiment conducted in Wisconsin in order to address the effects of child support on custodial mothers’ labor supply, and whether policies that increase child support receipt will discourage mothers’ employment. The evidence indicated that there is no negative effect of child support on the likelihood to work for pay or the number of hours worked in a given week. These results suggest that custodial mothers’ child support collections and their labor supply may be compatible and that the absence of a negative labor supply effect strengthens the potential antipoverty effectiveness of child support.
Record Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Date: 
May, 2015
May 2015
Partner Resources
  • Supportive Services
    • Child Support
  • Special Populations
    • Single Parent Families
  • TANF Program Administration