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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

English Spanish

Female-headed single-parent households and poverty in Costa Rica

Average real family incomes rose in Costa Rica in the late 1990s and at the start of the new decade, but poverty rates did not fall. Here it is argued that economic growth in the country did not translate into reduced poverty during this period because of changes that took place in household structure and in the labour market, and that these changes had an important gender dimension Specifically, a rising proportion of female-headed single-parent households led to an increase in the number of women with children entering the labour force, many of them for the first time. Many of these mothers were unable to find or unwilling to accept full-time work in the higher-paying formal sector and ended up unemployed or working part-time as self-employed workers. These labour market phenomena contributed to low incomes for vulnerable households, especially single-parent households headed by women.

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