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Do Family Policies Matter for Children Well Being?

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Helena Stensöta
Publicerad i Social Politics
Volym 18
Nummer/häfte 1
Sidor 82-124
Publiceringsår 2011
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Sidor 82-124
Språk en
Ämnesord welfare state, child wellbeing, Sweden, OECD, health, poverty, educational achievement
Ämneskategorier Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

Researchers have studied the impact of different welfare state regimes, and particularly family policy regimes, on gender equality. Very little research has been conducted, however, on the association between different family policy regimes and children’s well-being. This article explores how the different family policy regimes of twenty OECD countries relate to children’s well-being in the areas of child poverty, child mortality, and educational attainment and achievement. We focus specifically on three family policies: family cash and tax benefits, paid parenting leaves, and public child care support. Using panel data for the years 1995, 2000, and 2005, we test the association between these policies and child well-being while holding constant for a number of structural and policy variables. Our analysis shows that the dual-earner regimes, combining high levels of support for paid parenting leaves and public child care, are strongly associated with low levels of child poverty and child mortality. We find little long-term effect of family policies on educational achievement, but a significant positive correlation between high family policy support and higher educational attainment. We conclude that family policies have a significant impact on improving children’s well-being, and that dual-earner regimes represent the best practice for promoting children’s health and development.

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