To Wed or to Work? Assessing Work and Marriage as Routes Out of Poverty

Katrina Running, Louise Marie Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Employment and marriage are the two primary strategies touted by the government to address the feminization of poverty. Using longitudinal data for 1992 to 2001 from the Survey of Program Dynamics and multilevel models for change, this article analyzes the relative success rates of each of these strategies, as well as racial-ethnic differences in the effects of each on women's household incomes among women at high risk of poverty. Results suggest that marriage and employment improve mothers' household income, but that racial-ethnic differences persist. The authors also find that part-time work does not improve household economic well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-197
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • household economic well-being
  • marriage
  • poverty
  • single mothers
  • work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science


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