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Is Child Welfare Converging in the European Union?

  • John Micklewright
  • Kitty Stewart

Discussion of convergence in the European Union in recent years has centred on macroeconomic indicators, in line with requirements for participation in the single currency. But it is convergence of living standards that is an ultimate goal of European Integration - the greater "economic and social cohesion" emphasized by the Treaty on Union. We assemble evidence on whether the well-being of one part of Europe's people, children, has been converging over the last two decades. We discuss methodological issues raised by measuring child welfare and its convergence in a group of countries, and then look in turn at trends in the economic well-being of children, mortality among children and young people, education, teenage fertility, and teenagers' own views of their life satisfaction. Evidence of convergence is mixed, and includes some trends of an unwelcome sort - convergence at a lower average level of welfare. The conclusions include comment on the need for more measurement of child well-being in Europe.

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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers with number 42.

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Length: 130 pages
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Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:42
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1997. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," NBER Working Papers 6102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-54, December.
  3. Baumol, William J, 1986. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: What the Long-run Data Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1072-85, December.
  4. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
  5. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  6. Atkinson,A.B. & Rainwater,L. & Smeeding,T., 1995. "Income Distribution in European Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9535, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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