Th. Fent, B. Diaz, A. Fürnkranz-Prskawetz:
"Family policies in the context of low fertility and social structure";
In this paper we investigate the effectiveness of family policies in the context of the social
structure of a population.
We use an agent-based model to analyse the impact of policies on individual fertility decisions
and on fertility at the aggregate level. The crucial features of our model are the
interactions between family policies and social structure, the agents´ heterogeneity, and
the structure and influence of the social network. This modelling framework allows us
to disentangle the direct effect (the alleviation of resource constraints) from the indirect
effect (the diffusion of fertility intentions via social ties) of family policies.
Our results indicate that family policies have a positive and significant impact on fertility.
In addition, the specific characteristics of the social network and social effects do not only
relate to fertility, but also influence the effectiveness of family policies.
Family policies can only be successful if they are designed to take into account the characteristics
of the society in which they are implemented.
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