How Do the U.S and Canadian Social Safety Nets Compare for Women and Children?

53 Pages Posted: 8 May 2017 Last revised: 21 May 2021

See all articles by Hilary Williamson Hoynes

Hilary Williamson Hoynes

University of California, Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mark Stabile

INSEAD; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2017

Abstract

The past 25 years has seen substantial change in the social safety nets for families with children in the US and Canada. Both countries have moved away from cash welfare but the US has done so relying more exclusively on inwork benefits with work requirements. This paper examines this evolution across the two countries and examines the effects on employment and poverty. In particular, we focus on the two largest programs over this period: the U.S. EITC and the Canadian NCB/CCTB. In light of these policy changes, we examine trends in employment and poverty of the most affected families -- single mothers with less than a college degree -- across the two countries. We find that employment improved substantially in both countries, absolutely and relative to a control group of single women without children. The cross-country differences in relative trends are mainly explained by differences in the labor market conditions. Poverty rates for single mothers also declined in both countries with more of the decline coming through market income in the U.S. and benefit income in Canada.

Suggested Citation

Hoynes, Hilary Williamson and Stabile, Mark, How Do the U.S and Canadian Social Safety Nets Compare for Women and Children? (May 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23380, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964676

Hilary Williamson Hoynes (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

Mark Stabile

INSEAD ( email )

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F-77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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