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The Welfare State in EuropeEconomic and Social Perspectives$
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Pierre Pestieau and Mathieu Lefebvre

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817055.001.0001

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Family Policy

Family Policy

(p.174) 14 Family Policy
The Welfare State in Europe

Pierre Pestieau

Mathieu Lefebvre

Oxford University Press

This chapter first emphasizes the effect of family allowances on poverty in European countries. It stresses the fact that if family allowances appear to have a remarkably redistributive effect, they are only one component of child policies. Further their objective is not just poverty alleviation; they also aim at fostering female employment and fertility. The chapter shows that there exist sharp differences in the level and pattern of child policies across European countries, the Nordic countries leading the pack in terms of generosity. The issue of early child development is then discussed because it is considered as crucial for achieving a successful life. Finally, the issue of reconciling parenthood and employment is addressed.

Keywords:   early child development, childcare, family allowance, parental leave, child poverty, horizontal and vertical redistribution, tax breaks

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