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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1008
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    File URL: http://www.centrumvoorsociaalbeleid.be/sites/default/files/CSB%20Working%20Paper%2010%2008_oktober%202010.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Spiess, C. Katharina & Kreyenfeld, Michaela & Wagner, Gert G., 2003. "A Forgotten Issue: Distributional Effects of Day Care Subsidies in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 159-175.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wim Van Lancker, 2011. "ItÂ’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.
    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, 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Tine Hufkens & Gerlinde Verbist, 2016. "The distributive effects of work-family life policies in European welfare states," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/09, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    6. Tess Penne & Irene Cussó Parcerisas & Lauri Mäkinen & Bérénice Storms & Tim Goedemé, 2016. "Can reference budgets be used as a poverty line?," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/05, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Jeroen Horemans, 2016. "The part-time poverty gap across Europe: How institutions affect the way part-time and full-time workers avoid poverty differently," Working Papers 1603, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    11. Laurie C. Maldonado & Rense Nieuwenhuis, 2014. "Family Policies and Single Parent Poverty in 18 OECD Countries, 1978-2008," LIS Working papers 622, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    12. Rense Nieuwenhuis & Laurie C. Maldonado, 2017. "Single-Parent Families and In-Work Poverty," LIS Working papers 687, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Rense Nieuwenhuis & Ariana Need & Henk Van der Kolk, 2017. "Family Policies, Women’s Earnings, and Relative Inequality Among Households: Trends in 18 OECD Countries from 1981 to 2008," LIS Working papers 599, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

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