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2006 | 9 | 97-113
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The European models of family policy as a response to the contemporary demographic changes

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There is a big internal tension over arguments on family policy model that in a best way corresponds with family formation plans of the couples in Europe. Sweden with its gender equality approach to family policy and Great Britain representing liberal type of welfare state are at the top of fertility rates list in Europe. In contrast to the previous ones, Italy with conservative family policy model, looms large fertility problems. However, when we focus on the family stability and the process of forming it, the situation appears to be totally opposite. By comparing family policy arrangements in an international perspective, including Polish system of welfare state, it is proved that leave policy providing incentives for fathers to participate in childrearing as well as generous childcare institutional support, as it exists in Sweden, contributes to higher fertility. Moreover, reconciliation policy exerts positive influence on family stability, despite the rise in divorce rates because of the fact that Swedish men meet women's expectations of equality in domestic tasks only to a certain extent and the divorce procedures are nowadays much simpler. Empirical findings indicate that to sustain family fertility and stability at the relatively high level, the policy should follow rising expectations of the couples on balancing the conflict between women's work activities and family life. Such a factor is becoming crucial for Polish fertility level.
Słowa kluczowe
  • M. Kocik, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Polityki Spolecznej, ul. Nowy Swiat 69, 00-046 Warszawa, Poland
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