Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association


Evaluating the Poverty Status of Single Parent Families: Evidence of the Feminization of Poverty

Ashley Provencher and Audrey Sabatini

vol. 7, October 2014, p. 159-169


The term feminization of poverty was first introduced in the 1970s to describe the rising number of single female-headed households who were in poverty in the United States. Recently, however, single fathers are a growing demographic group. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 Current Population Survey, we estimate the size of the gender poverty gap of among single-headed families. We extend our analysis using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition to assess whether any of this gap can be attributed to discrimination. Our results suggest that the feminization of poverty still persists and that this may be, in part, due to gender-based discrimination.


suggested citation:

Ashley Provencher and Audrey Sabatini. "Evaluating the Poverty Status of Single Parent Families: Evidence of the Feminization of Poverty." Proceedings of the New York State Economics Association. vol. 7, October 2014, p. 159-169

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