The Family and the Welfare State: The Impact of Public Provision for Families on Young People’s Demand for Public Childcare across 21 Nations
AGEING POPULATIONS IN POST-INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACIES: COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF POLITICS AND POLICIES, Pieter Vanhuysse, Achim Goerres, eds., Routledge, 2011
43 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2011
Date Written: March 31, 2011
This chapter presents an analysis of the impacts of family policy regimes and of family solidarity on young people’s attitudes towards public childcare across 21 advanced industrial democracies. We test these explanations by applying binary logit regressions to the ISSP Social Networks II (2001) for 21 OECD countries. Estimation results are consistent with a two-stage model of preference formation: First, individuals learn from the existing mix of welfare institutions and the public childcare services they provide how much to expect from the welfare state for families. Here, it is most importantly the difference between market-oriented family policy regimes with no state involvement and all others regimes that influence citizens’ expectations. In the second stage, the young are cognitively constrained in their expectations for public childcare. In very active welfare states high levels of family solidarity increases demand for public childcare, indicating that the young are motivated by reciprocal exchange across generations within the family rather than age-based self-interest. In passive welfare states, the involvement with the family does not matter because individuals have learned that the state does not do much in the area of family policies. In sum, demand for public childcare by young people is embedded in welfare state institutions, personal family structures and the socially constructed nexus between the family and the welfare state.
Keywords: family, welfare state, OECD, attutudes, childcare, welfare state, generations
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