Which variety of family-friendly policies in OECD countries?

Olivier Thevenon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

This paper provides a comparison of family-friendly policies in OECD countries and their connection with poverty, fertility and gender inequalities in the labour market. Using the recent Family database provided by the OECD, we first implement a Multiple Factorial Analysis to provide a classification of family policy patterns. The three broad sets of policy instruments are included in the analysis: childcare services; transfers and financial support to families; child-related leave conditions. We find that the importance of the investment in family policies still remain the main difference across countries. Another opposing dimension is the generosity of parental leaves schemes as opposed to the development of substitutes to parental care, provided by marketed or publicly subsided services or by grand-parents. Previous classifications of family policies are only partially corroborated. Then we examine the relationships between family policy instruments and country performance in the three above-mentioned areas. Although this paper does not give information on the actual impact of family policies, it rather shows that family policies are designed according to balanced objectives. Childcare support is the only variable positively correlated with higher scores in all areas. However, the degree of gender occupational segregation is found to be relatively independent of family policy instruments.

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Presented in Session 59: Policy Issues

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