Work-Life Reconciliation Policies From Well-Being To Development: Rethinking EU Gender Mainstreaming
AbstractAcross the European Union (EU), gender policies are cross-cutting initiatives incorporated within the major axes of regional operational programs, and specifically, within active labor-market, local development and inclusion policies. This is the so-called gender mainstreaming across EU Structural Funds, calling for increasing policy instruments integration. The aim of this paper is to understand if and how to improve women’s well-being and subsequently participation in collective action through reconciliation policies. These measures aim to allow women and men to choose how they can reconcile family care, paid work, career advancement, and leisure. The idea is that such a choice implies a time allocation pattern, which is not exclusively determined by market mechanisms and/or policy measures, but also by cultural trajectories, moral values, intrinsic motivations and rules (Folbre, Nelson 2002; North, 2005; Witt 2003), varying across regions and within groups. Furthermore, the outcomes of this choice are not completely internalized as individual well-being but they can also create positive externalities. First, this paper reconstructs reconciliation policies and their governance structures across less-developed regions in Italy (so-called EU Objective 1 areas) within the EU programming phase 2000-2006. Drawing upon this reconstruction, out analysis seeks to account for differences in both contextual conditions and individual characteristics, which, in turn, shape regional development processes. Second, the paper focuses on the design of conciliation policies to unveil what underlying microeconomic premises explain the expected beneficiaries’ behavioural change. Departing from the inadequacy of standard economics, whereby work-life reconciliation would be reduced to a unique choice pattern at the individual level, the paper examines those factors of subjective identities and contextual characteristics that actually affect work-life reconciliation choices, and by this way they can have a development impact (Bowles 1998, Ray, 2000, Sen 1999). In fact, the traditional public choice approach to gender policy may not only perpetuate a male-dominated structure of socioeconomic relations but it may also keep the economy working at a less efficient level. In other words, reconciliation policies may end up reinforcing a path dependent equilibrium of low efficiency, accentuating institutional, economic, social, and cultural traps (Bowles, Durlauf and Hoff 2006). By contrast, our idea is that reconciliation policies can work as development policies as long as they alter current power structures and enhance women capabilities. Building upon this critical review of the existing gender policy framework, we put forward a cognitive framework for work-life reconciliation as a driving force to development.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9598.
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Microeconomic behaviour; Gender Mainstreaming; Intrinsic Motivations; Local Development; Conciliation; Power Structures;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Elisabetta Addis, 2002. "Gender Symmetry in the Reform of European Welfare States," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 25, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
- Ciccone, A. & Matsuyama, K., 1993.
"Start-Up Costs and Pecuniary Externalities as Barriers to Economic Development,"
533, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Ciccone, Antonio & Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1996. "Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 33-59, April.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1993. "Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 83, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1993. "Start-Up Costs and Pecuniary Externalities as Barriers to Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 4363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1992. "Start-up Costs and Pecuniary Externalities as Barriers to Economic Development," Discussion Papers 1031, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development," Economics Working Papers 142, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Gustav Ranis & Frances Stewart & Emma Samman, 2005.
"Human Development: Beyond the HDI,"
916, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Ingrid Robeyns, 2003. "Sen'S Capability Approach And Gender Inequality: Selecting Relevant Capabilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 61-92.
- Kiminiori Matsuyama, 1995. "Economic Development as Coordination Problems," Discussion Papers 1123, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ulrich Witt, 2003. "Economic policy making in evolutionary perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 77-94, 04.
- Tony Lawson, 1999. "Feminism, Realism, and Universalism," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 25-59.
- Tony Lawson, 2003. "Ontology and Feminist Theorizing," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 119-150.
- Sandra Harding, 1999. "The Case For Strategic Realism: A Response To Lawson," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 127-133.
- Kurt Dopfer & John Foster & Jason Potts, 2004. "Micro-meso-macro," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 263-279, 07.
- Amartya Sen & Bina Agarwal & Jane Humphries & Ingrid Robeyns, 2003. "Continuing The Conversation," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 319-332.
- Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
- Julie Nelson, 2003. "Once More, With Feeling: Feminist Economics and the Ontological Question," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 109-118.
- Hoff, Karla & Sen, Arijit, 2005. "The kin system as a poverty trap?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3575, The World Bank.
- Marianne Hill, 2007. "Confronting Power through Policy: On the Creation and Spread of Liberating Knowledge," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 259-282.
- Sanz Caballero, Susana, 2009. "De la exigencia de igualdad salarial a la política social comunitaria de atención a la maternidad y la conciliación laboral y familiar: cuarenta años de promoción de la igualdad laboral por el Tr," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 721-742, Diciembre.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.