The effect of child support enforcement on child support payments

Andrea H. Beller, John W. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper examines the effect of state child support enforcement legislation on child support received from absent fathers by ever-married women due support in 1978 or 1981. The analysis is based upon data from the 1979 and 1982 March/April Match files of the Current Population Survey, two nationally-representative surveys of the eligible child support population, combined with a data set assembled by the authors on child support enforcement techniques available in each state. Based upon probit estimates and OLS estimates corrected for sample selection bias, we find that expedited processes and liens (against real and personal property), as well as wage withholding laws in effect for at least three years, increased the amount of child support received in 1981. In general, enforcement is more effective at increasing the amount received than the probability of receiving something, and is more effective for Blacks than for nonBlacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-116
Number of pages26
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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