The impact of child support payments on the labour supply decisions of resident mothers

The impact of child support payments on the labour supply decisions of resident mothers

Matthew Taylor and Matthew Gray

Research Paper No. 47 — October 2010
The impact of child support payments on the labour supply decisions of resident mothers

The paper examines the effect of child support payments on separated mothers' employment.

Using data from the first two waves of Growing Up in Australia: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), the paper analyses the likelihood of employment of resident mothers and the number of hours worked if employed.

Economic theory suggests that receipt of non-labour market income - such as child support payments - will reduce the labour force participation of mothers. However, the analysis found that the amount of child support received does not affect the likelihood of being in paid employment, though receiving larger amounts of child support - in excess of $100 per fortnight - is estimated to reduce the number of hours worked per week.

Authors and Acknowledgements

Matthew Taylor is a Senior Research Officer and Matthew Gray is Deputy Director (Research) at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).


We are grateful for comments from Marian Esler, Bruce Bradbury, Paul Hardcastle and Maria Vnuk. This research was funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and may not reflect those of AIFS, FaHCSIA or the Australian Government.

This report uses data from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) confidentialised unit record file. LSAC was initiated and is funded by FaHCSIA, and is undertaken in partnership with AIFS and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Publication details

Research Paper
No. 47
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, October 2010.
34 pp.
ISSN: 
1446-9871
ISBN: 
978-1-921414-53-4
Suggested citation:

Taylor, M., & Gray, M. (2010). The impact of child support payments on the labour supply decisions of resident mothers ( Research Paper No. 47). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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