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Family and Children

The interplay between family policies, attitudes and fertility in France and Germany
"Children under the age of three are best looked after by their mothers". This conviction is still shared by most Germans, whereas in France external childcare is a fully accepted alternative, even for infants. This is one result of a comparative study by Anne Salles, Clémentine Rossier, and Sara Brachet that explores the long-term effects of family policies on fertility. Low fertility is a common feature in all European countries. The fertility rate is particularly low in German-speaking countries, whereas in the Nordic countries and in France birth rates are comparatively higher. [...]
Do recent family policy reforms reinforce a two-tier society?
For decades, Sweden's innovations in family policy have inspired other countries in Europe to follow its lead. The Swedish approach, dubbed the "earner-carer model", has focused on getting men and women to share work and family responsibilities, facilitating the combination of relatively high levels of female employment and childbearing with low child poverty rates. Now recent reforms are changing the playing field. A scientific article by Tommy Ferrarini and Ann-Zofie Duvander argues that the reforms are likely to increase polarization in Swedish society. [...]