More children in Europe with Swedish family policy

Oct 04, 2011

European politicians who want women to have more children should consider the Swedish model with subsidised child care and paid parental leave. This is the conclusion of a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg.

The study concerns how family policies can make women have more children.

'This is an important issue in many countries, especially in south and . Without immigration and increased , the populations of Spain, Italy and Germany are estimated to dwindle to less than 20% of today's numbers over the next 100 years,' says Andrej Kokkonen, doctoral student at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg.

The problem can be solved through family policies that are adapted to people's need for outside the family.

'If the goal is to make women have more children, you need to enable them to combine children and work,' says Kokkonen.

Subsidised and a paid parental leave, as in Sweden, are the two key features of a national family policy that is centred around the needs of the individual. Subsidised child care and paid parental leave, where the money is paid to the parent who stays at home, provide economic security for a in case of divorce or separation. This type of security is lacking in countries with more traditional family policies.

Kokkonen's study also points to the strong effect of family policies on when in life people decide to form a family.

'Earlier studies have missed that people form families earlier in life in countries with family policies centred around the individual. It also turns out that more families are formed in these countries. The reason is that people dare to move in together and plan a family even if they are not sure that the relationship will last. People in more traditional countries are more hesitant in this respect,' says Kokkonen.

This also implies that families formed in countries with family policies centred around the individual are not as stable as families formed elsewhere. Subsidised child care and paid parental leave increase the divorce rate.

Explore further: The nostalgia effect: Do consumers spend more when thinking about the past?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Couples who do the dishes together stay happier

Dec 15, 2009

A new study published by The University of Western Ontario reveals that couples who share the responsibility for paid and unpaid work report higher average measures of happiness and life satisfaction than those in other family ...

Low fertility in Europe -- is there still reason to worry?

Jun 17, 2011

The post-war trend of falling birth rates has been reversed across Europe, according to a new study. However, despite an increasing emphasis on family and fertility policies in Europe, this recent development involves social, ...

More Men Tackle Household Tasks

Mar 07, 2008

American men are helping with chores and child care more than ever, a trend that ultimately contributes to healthier marriages, according to a researcher at the University of California, Riverside.

Lack of sick leave creates tough choices for rural workers

Jul 11, 2011

Rural workers have less access to sick leave, forcing them to choose between caring for themselves or family members, and losing pay or perhaps even their jobs when faced with an illness, according to new research from the ...

Recommended for you

P90X? Why consumers choose high-effort products

10 hours ago

Stuck in traffic? On hold for what seems like an eternity? Consumers often face situations that undermine their feelings of control. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, when a person's sense of con ...

Overdoing it: Multiple perspectives confuse consumers

10 hours ago

Television commercials for luxury vehicles pack a lot in their 30-second running times: the camera offers quick shots of the soft leather upholstery, the shiny colors, the state-of-the-art entertainment system, ...

User comments : 0