Can public spending on family policy help to shield fertility rates during economic downswings? (A European case study, 2000-2013).

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: Economists from Malthus to Becker have long since proclaimed that as economic hardship increases, fertility is likely to decrease. Relatively few studies have considered the impact of the recent financial crisis upon fertility rates. This study analyses fertility rates across sixteen European countries at a national level, and analyses whether or not public family policy spending helps to shield fertility rates during economic crises. The period of study is split in two sub-periods: 2000-2007 (pre-crisis) and 2008-2013 (crisis). Initially, the paper provides an introduction to the causes of the recent financial crisis, and also presents data on the demographic responses to the crisis, in terms of fertility rates and unemployment rates. This chapter is followed by a comprehensive literature review of four major papers within the field. Esping-Andersen’s 1990 welfare state classification model is then used to classify the countries of observation. Annual macro panel data on fertility rates, unemployment, female unemployment at prime childbearing ages, female labour force participation rates, female labour force participation rates at prime childbearing ages, public child care spending, public parental leave spending are then analysed through the usage of descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses. Finally, recommendations based on these findings are suggested to policymakers.

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