Effects of Marriage on Family Economic Well-Being. Endnotes

07/01/2002

1.  Kelleen Kaye is a senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The findings presented here represent her synthesis of a series of papers written by Dr. Robert Lerman, with his review and approval. Any views expressed in the research reviewed here are solely those of Dr. Lerman’s and are not attributable to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2.  Robert Lerman is the Director of the Labor and Social Policy Center at the Urban Institute and Professor of Economics at American University. His work was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation.

3.  Income-to-needs ratios and welfare ratios are used synonymously and are defined as the family’s income relative to the poverty level for that family’s size. A higher income-to-needs ratio or welfare ratio implies a greater degree of well-being.

4.  The nine union formation groups are: 1) married couples, two biological or adoptive parents; 2) married couples, 1 biological or adoptive parent; 3) other married couples, children in foster or kinship care; 4) cohabiting couples, two biological or adoptive parents; 5) cohabiting couples, 1 biological or adoptive parent; 6) other cohabiting couples, children in foster or kinship care; 7) single biological, adoptive or step parent, other adults; 8) single biological, adoptive or step parent, no other adult; 9) other single parent, children in foster or kinship care.

5.  While poverty and material hardship are related, the overlap is not complete and it varies by the type of hardship being examined. For example, the percent of families that either could not pay rent or missed meals was higher than the percent of families in poverty.

6.  These findings are based on multivariate analyses that include a control variable for the income-to-needs ratio.

7.  Recall that welfare ratio is used synonymously with income-to-needs ratio, and is defined as the family’s income relative to the poverty level for that family’s size. A higher welfare ratio implies a greater degree of well-being.

8.  This is done using propensity matching scores, which combine into a single scale a variety of characteristics that place a mother at greater or lesser risk of remaining unmarried.