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Integration and the Well-being of Children in the Transition Economies

  • Fabian Bornhorst
  • Simon Commander
  • UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

This paper looks at the well-being of children in transition economies in the light of greater economic integration. The different stages of integration of the transition economies into the world economy are marked by substantial variations in trade and capital flows. International labour mobility remains limited, and unemployment has been high since the beginning of transition. Because employment is the main determinant of household income, this has had a negative effect on the well-being of children. At the national level, a high degree of variation in regional unemployment rates has emerged which is symptomatic of the lack of integration of labour markets. High regional unemployment rates are further associated with increases in non-participation, while adjustments via wages and migration have been largely absent, or insufficient. Indicators of child well-being – such as infant mortality rates – are positively correlated with unemployment rates, suggesting that public service provision is, in general, not sufficient to offset the negative effect of unemployment on child well-being. A closer look at unemployment benefit schemes reveals not only large differences between countries but also scope for broader coverage and better targeting of programmes in order to reduce the risk of families falling into poverty when parents become unemployed.

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Paper provided by UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in its series Innocenti Working Papers with number inwopa05/31.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucf:inwopa:inwopa05/31
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Yuri Andrienko & Sergei Guriev, 2003. "Determinants of Interregional Mobility in Russia: Evidence from Panel Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 551, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521584036 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Klugman, Jeni & Micklewright, John & Redmond, Gerry, 2002. "Poverty in the Transition: Social Expenditures and the Working-Age Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers 3389, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bornhorst, Fabian & Commander, Simon, 2004. "Regional Unemployment and its Persistence in Transition Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1074, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Simon Commander & Mark Schankerman, 1997. "Enterprise restructuring and social benefits," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, 05.
  6. Kollo, J. & Fazekas, K., 1990. "Patterns of unemployment in hungary--a case study," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 103-118, June.
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