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Can in-work benefits improve employment among lone parents?

Researchers: Professor Mike Brewer

Project overview

Welfare reforms have sought to increase employment among lone parents, but entering work does not always reduce poverty. Sustained employment has a greater change of reducing poverty than opting in and out of work on a short term basis. But what is the best policy approach to encourage sustained employment?

This project will investigage the impact of two recent welfare-to-work policies (In-Work Credit and the Employment Retention and Advancement Demonstration) on short and medium term employment outcomes. The researchers will identify which in-work benefits ‘ and which specific features of them ‘ are the most likely to foster job retention among lone parents.

The project will be carried out with the DWP and using administrative data on benefit and employment spells in a cutting-edge empirical model of employment transitions. The findings will be presented in a technical working paper, placing the results in the context of the existing literature.


  • Professor Mike Brewer
    Institute for Fiscal Studies

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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