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Measuring the size and impact of public cash support for children in cross-national perspective

Number: 24
Year: 2009
Author(s): Francesco Figari, Alari Paulus, Holly Sutherland
Keywords: children,taxes and cash benefits,child poverty,European Union,microsimulation
We suggest a new comprehensive measure of support given through tax-benefit systems to families with children. Using microsimulation techniques, this accounts for all provisions contingent on the presence of children, while usually only gross child/family benefits are considered. We use EUROMOD, the European Union tax-benefit microsimulation model, to quantify the support for children and analyse its impact on household incomes and child poverty for 19 countries. We find that the conventional approach underestimates on average the total amount of support for children by about one fifth. Furthermore, the differences between the two measures vary considerably across countries and are, therefore, critical for cross-national comparisons.

Francesco Figari

University of Essex, ISER, and and Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics


Alari Paulus

University of Essex, ISER


Holly Sutherland

University of Essex, ISER


Keywords: children, taxes and cash benefits, child poverty, European Union, microsimulation

JEL: C81, D31, H23

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