Expansion or Retrenchment? Trends and Patterns of Young Child Policy Variations Among 18 OECD Nations from 1980-2000

Shu-Yung Wang, Columbia University

Dramatic transformations in family composition, changing age structures within populations, and increased female participation in the labor force are posing new challenges to welfare states. Such socio-demographic factors are increasing the demand for policies that support families in sharing the cost and care of children and balancing the demands of family and work. This study seeks to further the understanding of the complex issues involved by addressing the following: 1) what were the trends and variations in young child policies for 18 selected OECD nations from 1980 to 2000? 2) What were the patterns in spending on parental leave, cash benefit, and ECEC? Did such spending patterns converge or diverge cross-nationally and overtime? 3) Do young child policies adopted in these 18 OECD nations conform to Esping-Andersen’s three welfare state regimes or do they cut across regime types and cluster in new ways?

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being