Martin Halla, Julia Schmieder, Andrea Weber, 13 December 2018

For the optimal design of social insurance policy, policymakers must consider how public insurance interacts with family dynamics. This column reveals how in Austria, the impact of husbands losing their jobs on wives entering the workforce is generally weak compared to other countries. This may be explained by traditional gender norms and the importance of the male breadwinner model.

Jean-Philippe Platteau, Catherine Guirkinger, 01 July 2016

Family is a key institution in many countries, particularly developing countries. In this video, Jean-Philippe Platteau and Catherine Guirkinger discuss the role of families in society. In countries where the judicial system is weak, families are important in settling conflicts and can replace formal institutions. Families can also change the impact of public policies. This video was recorded during the conference on “Economic Development and Institutions” held in Paris in June 2016.

Mark Rosenzweig, Junsen Zhang, 21 May 2014

Household savings in China are high by international standards, and the young save as much or more than the middle-aged – a fact at odds with the standard life-cycle savings model. This column argues that neither old-age support by the middle-aged nor the one-child policy can satisfactorily explain this phenomenon. Rather, currently high housing costs and the prevalence of inter-generational shared housing are key reasons for the higher savings rates of the urban young in China.

Edoardo Campanella, 24 February 2012

Western countries with ageing populations are in the grip a cruel irony. At the same time as having more old people than ever to support, youth unemployment is at its highest levels for a generation. As many of these countries go into elections this year, this column warns against populist politics that panders to the grey vote, and instead calls for leadership that puts the family first.

Marco Francesconi, Christian Ghiglino, Motty Perry, 11 February 2010

Why do people form long-lasting marital unions? This column presents new insights on what makes a family stick together. Families dominate more promiscuous pairs, in the sense that they can achieve greater survivorship and enhanced genetic fitness. The column suggests that this might provide an evolutionary explanation for the origin of religion as an institution to protect the family.

Janet Currie, 01 August 2008

Family background plays a crucial role in children’s outcomes in later life – but what is the specific impact of health in childhood (including in utero) on educational attainment, earnings and the likelihood of being in poverty in adulthood? Janet Currie of Columbia University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the latest research evidence. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in New Orleans in January 2008.

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