Until the introduction of the RSA (Revenu de solidarité active -i.e. Active Solidarity Income) on 1st June 2009 in metropolitan France and 1st January 2011 in overseas territories, poor single-parent families were entitled either to the RMI (Revenu minimum d’insertion – i.e. Minimum Income Integration) or to the API ( Allocation de parent isolé – i.e. Lone Parent Benefit). By merging these two benefits, the government gives up the logic of specific policy for low-income single parents with young children.
To assess the empirical relevance of inactivity traps that single parents living on transfer income face, we used data from the DREES survey covering a sample of the RMI or API recipients. The survey was conducted in May-June 2008 when the rSa was tested in some areas. Our results highlight the heterogeneity of the study population in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, earlier career paths and career paths during the observation period (October 2007-May 2008). We also show that the probability of access to employment is highly dependent on individual characteristics (age, educational level, health status, having two or more children and having experienced long inactivity periods). Family responsibilities, lack of qualifications and health or transportation problems are the main barriers to get a stable and good job.