A Comparison of Labor Supply Behavior among Single and Married Puerto Rican Mothers

  • Janis Barry Figueroa
Part of the Environment, Development and Public Policy book series (EDPP)


When the U. S. Census figures from 1960 to 1980 showed an increased number of female-headed households among all ethnic/racial groups, economists assumed that other things being equal, the lack of a second, male wage-earner would motivate many single mothers to enter the labor force, and supply more labor than would otherwise be the case. Among white women, female heads of households with minor children are more likely to be in the labor force than married women with children who live with their spouse (Kamerman & Kahn, 1988). Paradoxically, among black and Puerto Rican female householders with minor children, participation rates since 1960 appear to have stayed well below those of their spouse-present counterparts (Tienda & Glass, 1985). The literature has not specified why headship status per se should cause some women to work more and other women to work less.


Female Head Labor Force Participation Single Mother Reservation Wage Labor Market Experience 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janis Barry Figueroa
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of the Social SciencesFordham University at Lincoln CenterNew YorkUSA

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