Multiple Partner Fertility: Implications for Research and Policy

Maria Cancian, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Daniel Meyer, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Recent research has begun to document the incidence of multiple partner fertility and implications for research and policy. Complex family structures raise difficult conceptual and technical issues. In this paper we address many of these issues using longitudinal administrative data on over 16,000 women receiving welfare in Wisconsin, their children, the legally established fathers of their children, and any additional mothers and children of those fathers. We analyze patterns of multiple partner fertility, highlighting the striking differences in results over time, and based on samples of mothers, fathers, and children/sibships. We discuss the implications for poverty measures and welfare and child support policy.

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Presented in Session 51: One Parent Families