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Family Friendly Welfare at the National and Local Level: What Does the State Do for the Family and the Family For the State?

Author

Listed:
  • Paola De Agostini

    () (ISER)

  • Martina Menon

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Federico Perali

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

The rising unemployment and poverty following the Great Recession have highlighted the importance of families as primary caregivers and actors of social protection as well as shown weaknesses and limitation of the existing welfare network in place across Europe. There is therefore a revitalized interest on evaluating how well national and local welfare systems support families, how they can be improved by revisiting what the State does for the family and what families do for the State and how these exchanges vary across Europe. In Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece the size of welfare transfers to families is negligible as compared to the other European countries characterized by either a Binsmarck or Beveridge style welfare systems because of a relatively weaker bargaining position of Mediterranean families in the social contract with the State. We discuss the relevance for the European policy to move toward a more harmonized social security system by devoting the first part of our study to the State transfers to families at the national and local level. The second part examines what families do for the State by describing how to value family time and household production activities placing special emphasis on the cost of raising children. The measurement difficulties explain why societies and governments know so little about family contributions. We show that these questions are of crucial importance to frame a harmonized proposal for a novel design of European welfare systems oriented to solve specific social problems while respecting budgetary constraints and fiscal consolidation policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola De Agostini & Martina Menon & Federico Perali, 2015. "Family Friendly Welfare at the National and Local Level: What Does the State Do for the Family and the Family For the State?," Working Papers 23/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:23/2015
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    File URL: http://dse.univr.it/home/workingpapers/wp2015n23.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 267-284.
    2. Flavio Cunha & James J. HECKMAN, 2009. "Investing in our Young People," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 117(3), pages 387-418.
    3. De Agostini, Paola & Paulus, Alari & Sutherland, Holly & Tasseva, Iva Valentinova, 2014. "The effect of tax-benefit changes on the income distribution in EU countries since the beginning of the economic crisis," EUROMOD Working Papers EM9/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Baldini & Giulia Mancini & Giovanni Vecchi, 2018. "No country for young people. Poverty and Age in Italy, 1948-2018," Department of Economics 0128, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare reform; means testing; family support; valuing time; participation income;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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