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The Gender Role of the Government: some explanations of family crisis


  • Konstantin Yanovsky

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

  • Daniel Shestakov

    (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy)


Basic hypothesis tested in the paper: government interventions into traditional functions of the family became an important factor of the recent family crisis: lower marriage rates, higher divorce rates and lower birthrate in the highly qualified and civic responsible middle class taxpayers. The data for statistical test: the Panel of 17 old Democracies contains observations before pension reforms (since XIX century) till nowadays. Mandatory pension insurance in combination with the life expectancy growth turned pensions into budget liability to the growing share of the population and with considerable lag (15-20 years) could lead to the fertility reduction (because children are taxed for “general good” now and less able to serve as a “retirement saving” for their own parents – see Friedman). Universal suffrage and emergence of the left parties create and maintain a situation under which most of family functions come to be performed by Nanny State. That could reduce a demand for marriage. The governmental regulations and enforcement practices provoke wives to initiate conflicts with their husbands, poor spouse with rich. “Best interest of the child” concept incites children to initiate conflict with parents. As a result of the latter case analysis and statistical test the basic hypothesis has not be rejected.

Suggested Citation

  • Konstantin Yanovsky & Daniel Shestakov, 2013. "The Gender Role of the Government: some explanations of family crisis," Working Papers 0061, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:gai:wpaper:0061

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    More about this item


    Family; Family crisis; birthrate; divorce rate; mandatory pension insurance; best interest of the child; women; universal suffrage;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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