Consequences of Family Policies on Childbearing Behavior: Effects or Artifacts?
This article argues for a more careful consideration of theoretical and methodological approaches in studies of the effects of public policies, labeled here as family policies, on childbearing behavior. We employ elements of comparative welfare-state research, of the sociology of "constructed categories," and of "the new institutionalism" to demonstrate that investigations into policy effects need to contextualize policies and need to reduce their complexity by focusing on "critical junctures,""space," and "uptake." We argue that the effects of family policies can only be assessed properly if we study their impact on individual behavior. Event-history models applied to individual-level data are the state-of-the-art of such an approach. We use selected empirical studies from Sweden to demonstrate that the type of approach that we advocate prevents us from drawing misleading conclusions. Copyright (c) 2008 The Population Council, Inc..
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Volume (Year): 34 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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