Child Support Receipt, Mobility and Housing Quality

Marah A. Curtis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Emily Warren, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This study uses administrative data from Wisconsin merged with data on median house values to examine associations between the regularity of child support receipt and residential mobility as well as changes in housing values following a move. The sample includes custodial mothers with child support orders established in 2002 (N=13,329). Following these mothers for five years, we find, across several measures of regularity and specifications of moves, that regular child support receipt is associated with reduced odds of experiencing high residential mobility, holding the amount of support constant. Further, we find that an additional month of child support within 25% of the amount owed is associated with an $890 increase in the median value of housing where the mother lives. These results imply that policy makers concerned with the housing conditions of single-parent families should consider both the regularity and absolute value of child support as potential mechanisms for stability.

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Presented in Session 79: Housing Policy and Household Demography