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French family policy: long tradition and diversified measures


  • Ariane Pailhé
  • Clémentine Rossier
  • Laurent Toulemon


In France, the intervention of the state in the private sphere has long been accepted as legitimate. The current French family policy is the result of a compromise between the objectives of raising fertility, providing income support to families and promoting the work-family balance. Thus it includes a wide range of measures based on a variety of ideological standpoints. It combines measures encouraging women's employment with others in favour of large families. Recently, employers have been encouraged to implement family-friendly policies of their own. Since the state family policy is already quite comprehensive, their participation is rather low. This long-term `mix of tools' is likely to be a factor behind the current high fertility in France, but the number and the complexity of family policy measures make it very difficult to quantify their overall effect on fertility.

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  • Ariane Pailhé & Clémentine Rossier & Laurent Toulemon, 2008. "French family policy: long tradition and diversified measures," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 6(1), pages 149-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:149-164

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    1. repec:cai:poeine:pope_504_0415 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
    3. Peter Mcdonald, 2006. "Low Fertility and the State: The Efficacy of Policy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(3), pages 485-510.
    4. repec:cai:poeine:pope_203_0475 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cecile Lefèvre & Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2007. "How do employers help employees reconcile work and family life?," Population and Societies 440, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
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