Policy and Practice: The relationship between family policy regime and women's labour market participation in Europe

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The purpose of this paper is to develop a typology of different family policy systems in Europe and evaluate their impact on the employment strategy of mothers with care responsibilities for dependent children.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper outlines a typology of family policy regimes in Europe – covering the 26 countries. A typology based on a cluster analysis of macro indicators of family policy – coverage of childcare, effective parental leave and spending on family policies. The cluster analysis is based on data from OECD family data base. Then follows an analysis of the impact of the different family policy regimes on mothers' employment strategies when they return into gainful employment, based on data from the European Social Survey, 2008.

Findings – The authors have identified four different family policy models: extensive family policy, long parental leave, family care, and cash for care. For each of the models, different strategies are found for take up of employment for mothers with dependent children.

Originality/value – The paper includes 26 European countries, thereby covering the East and Central Europe, which is not the case in most welfare typologies. Furthermore, the authors distinguish clearly in the analyses between the institutional dimension and the outcome – mothers' employment strategies.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Udgave nummer9/10
Sider (fra-til)589 - 605
StatusUdgivet - 2012

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