Low Fertility, Family and Public Policies

Family Policies in Industrialized Countries: Is There Convergence?

Anne H. Gauthier  By the same author


AbstractThis article examines the trends in family policies in 22 industrialized countries since 1970. Based on time-series of indicators of cash benefits and support for working parents, it examines the hypothesis of convergence in national family policies. Results suggest that although all countries have increased their support for families since 1970, and all countries have adapted their policies to reflect the new demographic and economic realities of families, there has been no cross-national convergence. Results even suggest a divergence as captured by the growing cross-national dispersion of the family policy indicators. Results are thus in line with other studies of welfare states which have concluded that cross-national differences persist in spite of global macro-level factors.