Handbook of Family Policy
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Handbook of Family Policy

Edited by Guðný B. Eydal and Tine Rostgaard

The Handbook of Family Policy examines how state and workplace policies support parents and their children in developing, earning and caring. With original contributions from 44 leading scholars, this Handbook provides readers with up-to-date knowledge on family policies and family policy research, taking stock of current literature as well as providing analyses of present-day policies, and where they should head in the future.
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Chapter 2: The history of family policy research 11Anne H. Gauthier and Judith C. Koops

Anne H. Gauthier and Judith C. Koops


Scholarly work on family policies has a long history including early twentieth-century work on family wage, child and family allowances, and maternity leave. Since then studies on family policies have expanded both in terms of the range of policies studied as well as its geographical coverage. Research on family policies has also moved from early descriptive work to analyses based on more advanced statistical techniques. In the chapter, Gauthier and Koops provide a brief history of research on family policy with a main focus on cross-national research. The chapter covers four main topics: (1) the pioneering work including early sources of data and early research on family policy; (2) more recent research on typologies of family policy regimes; (3) research on the determinants of family policy from a quantitative perspective; and (4) recent work on the consequences of family policy on various child, adult, and family-related outcomes. Gauthier and Koops conclude the chapter by discussing the shortcomings of the literature and identifying promising avenues of research.

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