Thursday, 1 November 2012

Child poverty and family policies across eighteen wealthy Western democracies

an article by Daniel Engster (Department of Political Science, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA) published in  Journal of Children and Poverty Volume 18 Issue 2 (September 2012)


While a good deal has been written about the potential value of family policies in reducing child poverty in Western countries, few cross-national quantitative studies have been carried out on this topic.

This article uses ordinary least squares regression analysis on panel data from 18 Western democracies from 1987 to 2007 to test the significance of family policies and other welfare policies on child poverty rates.

It extends existing research on the relationship between family policies and child poverty by utilising a broader data-set in terms of time, countries, and child poverty measures.

The main finding is that all three of the main family policies studied – child cash and tax benefits, paid parenting leaves, and public support for childcare – correlate significantly with lower child poverty rates.

Somewhat surprisingly, disability and sickness insurance also correlates significantly with lower child poverty in nearly every model and test.

These findings provide valuable insight for future research and policy-making in the area of child poverty.

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