Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/71633
Authors: 
Halla, Martin
Lackner, Mario
Scharler, Johann
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper Series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 7210
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.
Subjects: 
marriage
divorce
fertility
welfare state
risk sharing
JEL: 
J12
J13
J18
D1
D62
H31
H53
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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