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Family Policies in the Context of Low Fertility and Social Structure

Thomas Fent (), Belinda Aparicio Diaz and Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

No 1102, VID Working Papers from Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the effectivity of family policies in the context of different assumptions regarding the social structure of a society. We use an agent based simulation model to analyse the impact of family policies on individual fertility decisions and on cohort fertility, intended fertility, and the fertility gap on the aggregate level. The crucial features of our simulation model are the agents' heterogeneity with respect to age, income, parity, and intended fertility, the social network and social influence. Our results indicate that both fixed and income dependent child supports have a positive and significant impact on fertility. However, several network and social influence parameters have the ability not only to influence fertility itself but also the effectivity of family policies. Therefore, policymakers aiming to transfer a certain policy mix that has proved successful from one country to another one ignoring differences in the social structure may fail. Family policies can only be successful if they explicitly take into account the characteristics of the society they are assigned for.

Keywords: Family policies; low fertility; social influence; social networks; social structure. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2010-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cmp and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Family policies in the context of low fertility and social structure (2013) Downloads
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