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Why do so few non-resident mothers pay child support? Paper for the 8th network meeting 14-16th October 2010 in Valencia Jan Lyngstad Statistics Norway.

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Presentation on theme: "Why do so few non-resident mothers pay child support? Paper for the 8th network meeting 14-16th October 2010 in Valencia Jan Lyngstad Statistics Norway."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why do so few non-resident mothers pay child support? Paper for the 8th network meeting 14-16th October 2010 in Valencia Jan Lyngstad Statistics Norway

2 Non-resident mothers In Norway about every sixth non-resident parent is a mother (Statistics Norway 2009) Non-resident mothers are much more involved in the day-to-day care of their children than non- resident fathers (Christoffersen 1996, Steward 1999, Kitterød 2006) Do they less often than the non-resident fathers pay child support?

3 Percentage of non-resident parents paying child support Non-resident fathers 85 Non-resident mothers 31 Source: Contact arrangements and child support 2004, Statistics Norway

4 Two hypotheses The gender role hypotheses: Paying child support is seen as part of the traditional provider role of the father. Therefore the non-resident fathers are more inclined to pay child support than the mothers. The selection hypotheses: Non-resident mothers and fathers differ on other caracteristics related to the payment of child support, and these differences explain why the mothers less often than the fathers pay child support.

5 What make non-resident parents’ pay: prior English/American research (I) Non-resident parent’s income (+). Resident parent’s income (-) Non-resident parent’s education (+) Resident parent’s education (+) Non-resident parent’s other family responsibilities (-)

6 Prior research (II) American and English studies seem to indicate a positive correlation between contact with children and payment of child support In a Norwegian study based on the same survey we analyse here (Contact arrangements and child support 2004) we find a negative correlation

7 The Norwegian system 3 of 5 child support cases are settled by the authorities according to official rules: Non-resident (+) and resident parent’s (-) income Contact with children (-) Number and age of children (+) Other family responsibilities (-)

8 Data from 2004 Gross sample: 1900 couples of parents (ex-partners) with children under 18 Telephone interview + some register data Both ex-partners interviewed Response rate: 75 per cent (resident parents 79, non-resident 71) Excluded from the analysis: couples who had not lived together etc. Sample of analysis: 662 couples

9 Independent variables Non-resident parent’s gender Income (level, relation) Contact (number of days, shared residence) Children in the relation (number, age) Time since break-up Both ex-partners’ education Both ex-partners’ present family situation

10 Results from logistic regression. Odds ratios for non-resident parent’s gender Model 1: (Pseudo R square=0.18) Model 2: 4.37 (Pseudo R square=0.43) Model 3: 5,45 (Pseudo R square=0.46)

11 Summary and discussion 1/6 of children from broken up homes in Norway are registered living with the father The mother seldom pays child support Partly due to other differences Taking the differences into account, the non-resident mothers still pay less often than the fathers Indicating surviving traditional gender roles?


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