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Policy support and impact on third births in post-socialist Hungary

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posted on 15.11.2017 by Zsolt Spéder, Lívia Murinkó, Livia Olah
Abstract: Since the early 1990s fertility fall steeply in Central-East European countries including Hungary where substantial governmental efforts sought to stop or at least reduce the decline. Specific policy measures have benefited parents with three or more children: i) the flat-rate child-raising support paid from the 3rd until the 8th birthday of the youngest child in large families (signalling recognition of ‘motherhood as profession’) and ii) a comprehensive tax-relief system. The success of these measures, if any, is however difficult to detect in aggregate statistics. Here we rely on event-history methods analyzing data from the Hungarian Generation and Gender Survey to examine the effect of these policies and to reveal differences in higher-order childbearing behaviour among socio-economic groups related to the measures in question. The results indicate a significant and differentiated effect on third-birth risks. While the child-raising support increased third-birth risks among the least educated, the generous tax relief seems to have similar effect on parents with tertiary education.


Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe, SPaDE (Swedish Research Council, grant number 349-2997-8701) at Stockholm University Demography Unit, and the Hungarian Science Foundation “Families in Transition” project (K109397).




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