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The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children

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  • Joris Ghysels
  • Wim Van Lancker

Abstract

In the last decades, measures to reconcile work and family life arose in response to new societal needs stemming from the generalization of dual earnership. However, dual earnership has not been adopted evenly across various social groups in European societies. Consequently, concerns about the distribution of the benefit of those policies arise: does this new orientation entail a loss of redistributive power of the welfare state? We address this question by focussing on the interaction of three types of family measures and their overall distributional effect in Europe with the Belgian region of Flanders as case in point. We develop a fine-grained analysis to reveal the budgetary impact of the variation in use and generosity, and find that the redistributive effect of child benefits is largely undone by subsidized childcare and parental leave benefits. As such, our analysis supports concern about a reduction of the redistributive character of the "new" welfare state.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp in its series Working Papers with number 1008.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1008

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Web page: http://www.centreforsocialpolicy.eu
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Keywords: child benefits; childcare; dual earnership; family policy; parental leave; social distribution;

References

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  1. Michaela Kreyenfeld & C. Katharina Spieß & Gert G. Wagner, 2000. "A Forgotten Issue: Distributional Effects of Day Care Subsidies in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 226, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Frank Vandenbroucke & Koen Vleminckx, 2011. "Disappointing poverty trends : is the social investment state to blame? An exercise in soul-searching for policy-makers," Working Papers 1101, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  2. Lancker, W. van & Ghysels, J., 2011. "GINI DP 10: Who Reaps the Benefits? The social distribution of public childcare in Sweden and Flanders," GINI Discussion Papers 10, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  3. Wim Van Lancker & Joris Ghysels, 2013. "Great expectations, but how to achieve them? Explaining patterns of inequality in childcare use across 31 developed countries," Working Papers 1305, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  4. Olivier Pintelon & Bea Cantillon & Karel Van den Bosch & Christopher T. Whelan, 2011. "The Social Stratification of Social Risks: Class and Responsibility in the 'New' Welfare State," Working Papers 201123, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Olivier Pintelon & Bea Cantillon & Karel Van den Bosch & Christopher T. Whelan, 2011. "The Social Stratification of Social Risks," Working Papers 1104, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  6. Wim Van Lancker, 2011. "It’s all about the money? Temporary employment, gender, poverty and the role of regulations from a broad European perspective," Working Papers 1102, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  7. Jeroen Horemans & Ive Marx, 2013. "In-work poverty in times of crisis: do part-timers fare worse?," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/14, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  8. Tim Rie & Ive Marx, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Belgium," GINI Country Reports belgium, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  9. Wim Van Lancker, 2013. "Putting the child-centred investment strategy to the test: Evidence for the EU27," Working Papers 1301, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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