The impact of one-parent family payment reforms on the labour market outcomes of lone parents

July 11, 2022

Oxford Economic Papers

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We evaluate the impact of a reduction in the child qualifying age for the One Parent Family Payment in Ireland. From 2012 to 2015, the child qualifying age was reduced from 18 years to 7 years. Lone parents who no longer qualified for the payment, based on the age of their child, could avail of Jobseekers Transitional Payment, which involves a labour activation component. The reforms led to an increase in the average hours worked of lone parents of between two and five hours per week. Lone parents impacted by the policy were 13 percentage points more likely to be working. In addition, we find an increase in household income of between 9% and 12%, and an increase of between 23% and 29% in earnings from employment. Finally, the policy was associated with a 10 to 14 percentage point reduction in the poverty rate of lone parents.