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Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries

Martin Halla (), Mario Lackner () and Johann Scharler

No 2013-04, Economics working papers from Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Abstract: We study the effect of the size of the welfare state on family outcomes in OECD member countries. Exploiting exogenous variation in public social spending, due to varying degrees of political fractionalization (i.e. the number of relevant parties involved in the legislative process), we show that an expansion in the welfare state increases the fertility, marriage, and divorce rates with a quantitatively stronger effect on the marriage rate. We conclude that the welfare state supports family formation. Nevertheless, we also find that the welfare state decouples marriage and fertility, and therefore, alters the organization of the family.

Keywords: Marriage; divorce; fertility; welfare state; risk sharing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J13 J18 D1 D62 H31 H53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-02
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Related works:
Journal Article: Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Welfare State Destroy the Family? Evidence from OECD Member Countries (2013) Downloads
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