Family policies in the context of low fertility and social structure

Fent, Thomas and Aparicio Diaz, Belinda and Prskawetz, Alexia (2013) Family policies in the context of low fertility and social structure. Demographic Research, 29 (37). pp. 963-998. ISSN 1435-9871

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Germany (CC BY-NC 2.0 DE).

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Objective: In this paper we investigate the effectiveness of family policies in the context of the social structure of a population. Methods: We use an agent-based model to analyse the impact of policies on individual fertility decisions and on fertility at the aggregate level. The crucial features of our model are the interactions between family policies and social structure, the agents' heterogeneity, and the structure and influence of the social network. This modelling framework allows us to disentangle the direct effect (the alleviation of resource constraints) from the indirect effect (the diffusion of fertility intentions via social ties) of family policies. Results: Our results indicate that family policies have a positive and significant impact on fertility. In addition, the specific characteristics of the social network and social effects do not only relate to fertility, but also influence the effectiveness of family policies. Conclusions: Family policies can only be successful if they are designed to take into account the characteristics of the society in which they are implemented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We would like to thank Isabella Buber-Ennser for helping us with the GGS data. The Austrian GGS was conducted by Statistics Austria with the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth; the Federal Ministry of Science and Research; and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. The international GGS templates (survey instruments, sample design) were adapted to the Austrian context by the Vienna Institute of Demography and the Austrian Institute for Family Studies. The Austrian Institute for Family Studies also coordinated the Generations and Gender Programme for Austria. We gratefully acknowledge valuable comments from two anonymous reviewers.
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik > Demographie > Wittgenstein Centre
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Mohammad Al Hessan
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 14:32
Last Modified: 06 May 2018 10:14
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