This paper discusses the potential of family policies to reconcile the multiple objectives that they are expected to serve, over and above their role in offsetting the economic cost of children. We start by emphasizing the need to consider the multiple challenges that family policies in European Union—and/or OECD—countries have to address through a broadening of the standard economic approach to the cost of children. Policies indeed aim to reduce the “direct” monetary cost of raising children, but they also aim to minimise the indirect cost arising from the incidence of children on the parents’ work-life balance and on the aggregate level of employment. Moreover, motives for policy intervention such as concerns about child development, gender equity or aggregate fertility levels are not fully captured by cost measurements. We thus analyse how, and to what extent, family policies can successfully reconcile these multidimensional objectives. We offer a holistic approach, pointing out that a coherent family policy mix supporting working parents with preschool children is the only way to reconcile or limit the conflicts between work, family and child outcomes. Three main dichotomies are identified to explain cross-country differences in family policy packages: the emphasis on poverty alleviation; the supposed antagonism between fertility and female employment; and the potential conflict between this latter and child development. Ways to reconcile these objectives and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of family policies are further discussed.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2012
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera