Long-term employment and earnings patterns of welfare recipients: The role of the local labor market

Netta Achdut, Haya Stier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Many Western countries have introduced welfare reforms that limit public assistance for the long-term unemployed and that spur rapid movement into the labor market. The work-first nature of these new policies means that the success of welfare recipients depends greatly on demand-side constraints, more particularly on local labor market conditions. Based on longitudinal administrative data of all single mothers who received cash benefits when the Israeli welfare reform was implemented (N = 45,000), this study focuses on the role of the local labor market in explaining single mothers’ long-term employment and earnings patterns. The results indicate notable diversity in employment and earnings patterns. Some mothers showed stable or improved attachment to the labor force, while others showed a much less stable pattern and about a quarter had a very weak attachment to paid employment. Local labor market conditions and their change over time play an important part in explaining these various patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-682
Number of pages36
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Employment and earnings patterns
  • Israel
  • Local labor market
  • Single mothers
  • Social policy
  • Welfare reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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