Child deprivation and social benefits: Europe in cross-national perspective

Elena Bárcena-Martín, Maite Blázquez, Santiago Budría, Ana I Moro-Egido
2017 Socio-Economic Review  
In this paper, we examine the ability of social benefits to soften the level of child deprivation. We construct a dedicated child deprivation indicator which allows us to better capture children's circumstances and examine the effect on it of contextual and sociodemographic factors jointly through multilevel models. We contribute to the scarce literature on the effects of social spending on child-specific deprivation from a cross-national perspective. We separately estimate the effect of each
more » ... he effect of each social benefit function on child deprivation to evaluate the impact of those benefit functions directly targeted at children and those benefit functions with no explicit intention of child deprivation protection. Our findings suggest that in order to explain differences across European countries in the level of child deprivation, country-level determinants are crucial. Moreover, social benefits play a key role that remains even when controlling for country-level determinants. An additional finding is that the most effective social benefit functions are not necessarily those targeted at children. JEL CODES: I32, J13
doi:10.1093/ser/mwx019 fatcat:oseapvyi5zf7bmhwq42dazbdqe