Agota Scharle: Child care provision and maternal employment - lessons from Hungary
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Ágota Scharle

Friday, 18 September 2009, 13:30
Seminar Room at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Berggasse 17, 1090 Vienna

Contact: Orsolya Lelkes

Speaker: Ágota Scharle, executive partner of the Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis, Budapest, Hungary

Highlights of the Seminar:
The talk presents the first results of an analysis of the effect of child care provisions on female labour supply in Europe and a related proposal for changing family policy in Hungary. The focus is on whether supplying day care services as opposed to cash transfers may significantly increase the labour supply of mothers of small children. The first part is a cross country multivariate analysis of mothers' labour supply and family provisions in selected in EU member states, where labour supply indicators are calculated from micro-level data. Results confirm earlier estimates: all the main effects are as expected and a hypothetical shift of spending on day care services (and away from cash transfers) would significantly increase maternal labour supply. As expected, the effect of a shift varies with mother's education and is particularly large for New Member States. The second part of the talk considers the possibilities and constraints of introducing such a shift in family policy, using the example of Hungary. One of the main challenges facing the Hungarian government is to bridge the financing gap between formal child care and flat rate cash transfer to mothers who stay home, another is conservative attitudes related to gender roles.

International Seminar Series:
The seminar was part of the series of International Seminars that are organised by the European Centre. More information about our other International Seminars