Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/205542
Authors: 
Jacobsen, Veronica
Fursman, Lindy
Bryant, John
Claridge, Megan
Jensen, Benedikte
Year of Publication: 
2004
Series/Report no.: 
New Zealand Treasury Working Paper No. 04/02
Abstract: 
Policy interventions that affect or are mediated through the family typically assume a behavioural response. Policy analyses proceeding from different disciplinary bases may come to quite different conclusions about the effects of policies on families, depending how individuals within families behave. This paper identifies the implications of five theories of family and individual behaviour for the likely success of policy intervention. Anthropology documents not only the universality of the family, but also its many forms. Economic theory illustrates the capacity for well-intentioned policy to be thwarted by individual rationality. Evolutionary biology suggests that a number of fundamental drivers of behaviour are genetic predispositions and can be difficult to influence through policy. Sociology emphasises the role of social norms but recognises that individualism limits the influence of society generally on individual behaviour. Understanding the theories of the family emanating from different disciplines can enrich policy analysis by identifying how and why behaviour can be influenced. It also can serve to remind researchers of the resilience of the family and the limits of government intervention.
Subjects: 
family
kinship
family structure
family formation
family dissolution
public policy
family policy
regulation
New Zealand
Maori
History
Demography
Anthropology
Psychology
Sociology
Biology
Economics
evolution
JEL: 
A12
B49
D19
J12
J18
K0
R29
Creative Commons License: 
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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