Between the 1980s and the late 1990s, France and Belgium introduced two long-leave schemes and several measures to support childcare at home. Although this change was presented under the umbrella of the ‘free-choice-for-women’ rhetoric, it moved both countries towards a more familistic model. To evaluate the impact of this reform phase on female labour force participation, the present study employed the synthetic control method. This approach made it possible to contrast the evolution of the French and Belgian female labour force participation rates, observed in consequence of the implementation of the policies under investigation, with the corresponding evolution of the same rates reconstructed in the absence of such family programmes. The results of this exercise suggest that if France and Belgium had not undergone this policy treatment, their female labour market participation rates would have been higher than those actually measured.

The impact of ‘free choice’: Family reforms of France and Belgium, a synthetic control analysis

Podestà, Federico
2017

Abstract

Between the 1980s and the late 1990s, France and Belgium introduced two long-leave schemes and several measures to support childcare at home. Although this change was presented under the umbrella of the ‘free-choice-for-women’ rhetoric, it moved both countries towards a more familistic model. To evaluate the impact of this reform phase on female labour force participation, the present study employed the synthetic control method. This approach made it possible to contrast the evolution of the French and Belgian female labour force participation rates, observed in consequence of the implementation of the policies under investigation, with the corresponding evolution of the same rates reconstructed in the absence of such family programmes. The results of this exercise suggest that if France and Belgium had not undergone this policy treatment, their female labour market participation rates would have been higher than those actually measured.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/308899
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