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Is Child Welfare Converging in the European Union?

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  • John Micklewright
  • Kitty Stewart

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Micklewright & Kitty Stewart, "undated". "Is Child Welfare Converging in the European Union?," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 42, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:42
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/CILN/cilnwp42.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Anthony Atkinson & Timothy Smeeding & Lee Rainwater, 1994. "Income Distribution in European Countries," LIS Working papers 121, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    4. De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-1154, December.
    5. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2000. "The Rising Well-Being of the Young," NBER Chapters,in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 289-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 1072-1085, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Gregg & Susan Harkness & Stephen Machin, 1999. "Poor kids: trends in child poverty in Britain, 1968-96," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(2), pages 163-187, June.

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