DISC-CSSRR Blog

December 22, 2010

CSSRR Sociology–December 22, 2010

Filed under: S. Working Papers,Sociology — admin @ 11:09 am

Luxembourg Income Study Working Papers:

A. “Targeting, Universalism and Single Mother Poverty: A Multi-level Analysis Across 18 Affluent Democracies,” by David Brady and Rebekah Burroway (No. 554, November 2010, .pdf format, 40p.).

Abstract:

We examine the influence of individual characteristics and targeted and universal social policy on single mother poverty with a multi-level analysis across 18 affluent democracies. Although single mothers are disproportionately poor in all countries, there is even more cross-national variation in single mother poverty than for poverty among the overall population. By far, the U.S. has the highest rate of poverty among single mothers. The analyses show that single mother poverty is a function of the household?s employment, education, age composition, and the presence of other adults. Beyond individual characteristics, social policy exerts substantial influence on single mother poverty. We find that two measures of universal social policy significantly reduce single mother poverty. Alternatively, one measure of targeted social policy does not have significant effects, while another measure is only significantly negative when controlling for universal social policy. Moreover, the effects of universal social policy are larger. Additional analyses show that universal social policy does not have counterproductive consequences in terms of family structure or employment, while the results are less clear for targeted social policy. Although debates often focus on altering the behavior or characteristics of single mothers, welfare universalism could be an even more effective anti-poverty strategy.

www.lisproject.org…

B. “Child Maintenance and Child Poverty: A Comparative Analysis,” by Mia Hakovirta (No. 555, December 2010, .pdf format, 21p.).

Abstract:

This article uses the Luxembourg Income Study datasets from circa 2004 to analyse the contribution child maintenance makes to the reduction of child poverty. The countries compared are Canada, UK, USA, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland representing countries with different child maintenance schemes. Results show that the contribution that child maintenance makes in reducing overall child poverty is minimal but it can reduce child poverty among non-widowed lone mother families if maintenance is received. Countries guaranteeing child maintenance payments by the state are more effective in reducing child poverty. This article uses the Luxembourg Income Study datasets from circa 2004 to analyse the contribution child maintenance makes to the reduction of child poverty. The countries compared are Canada, UK, USA, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland representing countries with different child maintenance schemes. Results show that the contribution that child maintenance makes in reducing overall child poverty is minimal but it can reduce child poverty among non-widowed lone mother families if maintenance is received. Countries guaranteeing child maintenance payments by the state are more effective in reducing child poverty.

www.lisproject.org…

C. “Women’s Opportunities Under Different Constellations of Family Policies in Western Countries: Inequality Tradeoffs Re-Examined,” by Stefan Englund, Tommy Ferrarini, and Walter Korpi (No. 556, December 2010, .pdf format, 57p.).

Abstract:

Women’s rising labor force participation since the 1960’s was long seen as heralding decreasing gender inequalities. According to influential social science writings this view has now to be revised; “women friendly” policies bringing women into the workforce are held to create major inequality tradeoffs between quantity and quality in women?s jobs. Unintendedly, such policies increase employer statistical discrimination and create glass ceilings impeding women’s access to influential positions and high wages. This paper re-examines theoretical and empirical bases in analysis of family policy effects on gender inequalities. Including capabilities as well as earnings in definitions of gender inequality, we improve possibilities for causal analyses by mapping institutional constellations of separate dimensions of family policies in Western countries. Reflecting conflicting political forces as well as religion, contrary to accepted assumptions of uni-dimensionality, family policies are multi-dimensional, with main distinctions favoring traditional families, mother’s employment, or market reliance. Using multilevel analyses and broad sets of outcome variables, we show that methodological mistakes largely invalidate earlier causal interpretations of major tradeoffs between quantity and quality in women’s labor force participation. Positive policy effects facilitate work-family reconciliation and combine women’s increased labor force participation with relatively high fertility. While major negative policy effects for women with tertiary education are difficult to find, family policies clearly differ in the extent to which they improve opportunities for women without university degrees.

www.lisproject.org…

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