The Oxford Family Policy Database: Conceptual Framework and Methodological Report

Mary Daly and Mireia Borrell-Porta

Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

This project was funded by the University of Oxford John Fell Fund (grant no 133/032 - Assessing and Monitoring Family Policy). Running from October 2015 to September 2016, the project aimed to map the field regarding the evidence and indicators for family policy and produce a database on family policy developments in the UK since 1997. The database makes available for the first time information covering cash supports to families with children, childcare policies and a range of family-related employment leave from 1997 to the present day. Hence, it covers the period of four government administrations and crosses a number of policy fields that are usually treated separately. It is a unique source of information on UK family policy, filling a gap in the evidence available.

This document sets out the background to and details of the database. In particular, it introduces the field of family policy and makes explicit the conceptualisations and definitions that inform the database. It also provides some details on how the database was constructed and its structure and possible forms of usage.   

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There has never been greater interest on the part of governments and states in family policy. Judging especially by the degree of policy activity in the field, family policy seems to be in a high-growth period (unlike other domains of social policy which seem to be in decline). And yet family policy is an ambiguous term and there is no common concept, neither in scientific work nor in politics. Even European Union countries do not have a common idea or practice of family policy (Bahle and Maucher 1998: 1). Moreover the empirical base for the analysis of family policy – in a national and cross-national context – remains weak.

Against this backdrop, the aim of this University of Oxford John Fell Fund project was: a) to review the existing sources of data and policy literature on family policy and clarify the relevant fields; b) to identify the main relevant policy developments since 1997 and c) to develop and populate an indicator set of the institutional (legal and policy) elements of family policy in the UK since 1997. Policies and legal foundations are the key focus. The main function of the database is to give standardised information on the key details of benefit rates, beneficiaries, conditions of entitlement and the development of a timeline for each policy set as well as the legislative basis. This information is presented for three policy sets: cash transfers, employment leaves, and childcare services from 1997 to the present day. Hence, it covers the period of four government administrations. The data set is intended as a public resource that can be widely used, both for purposes of research on and measurement of family policy in its own right and more broadly in terms of analyses of wider welfare state policy developments and the changing context of family life in the UK. The intention is that the database should allow researchers to undertake detailed micro analyses of how specific dimensions of family policies have developed and changed over time and how they inter-relate to each other at any one point in time and over time.

The project was guided by a conceptual framework which was developed on the basis of an extensive review of the literature and sources of existing evidence. The database therefore rests on a historically and comparatively informed understanding of the nature of family policy, its constituent domains, key elements and modalities, legal underpinnings, the conditions governing access to relevant benefits and services and the nature and detail of variation over time. In terms of disciplinary background and interest, the project draws especially from social policy and sociology. Social policy helps to identify the dimensions, core values and principles of the policy field, as well as identifying the institutional forms and regulatory mechanisms involved. A sociological approach helps to locate particular policy measures in a broader understanding of family, seeing the linkages between policy and how the family is viewed in society, the role of the family in linking individuals to societal structures, and the linkages between family and other domains of social life such as state, economy and society.

This document is organised as follows. The first section sets out the background to family policy and outlines the main concepts and insights from existing work and the second describes the methodological and technical details of the database. 

Development and Characteristics of Family Policy

In order to understand family policy, it is helpful to consider (briefly) some of the history of family policy and also the insights from existing scholarship on how to conceive of family policy.

Family policy is a European concept in origin. Kamerman and Kahn (1978, 1997) trace its history to Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. To understand its origins one must work with a broad understanding of family, which means including policies originating in concerns around education, health and measures against destitution as well as maternity protection (which started in Germany in 1878) and regulating institutions to take care of children (Belgium 1880). But there was little in place in terms of organised economic support for families before 1930. When family policy as we know it today developed, it was focused on child-related financial support (in the form of cash supplements to income or tax relief). Focused thus, family policy took hold rapidly in Europe - within a decade of the end of World War II, state-financed economic support for families became a nearly generalised feature of the most advanced market democracies across the world (Montanari 2000: 307–8). It was not always the state that was the leader in family policy though. Sometimes, family policies developed from the ground up through voluntary initiatives and non-public institutions (Bahle and Maucher 1998). For example, kindergartens were set up by reformist liberal pedagogues or by the Catholic Church, among others; and the first family allowances in some countries were introduced by employers on a voluntary basis. Over time, most of these policies came under the influence of the state, but private initiatives and voluntary activities still play a significant role in some countries.

As Gauthier (1999: 947) points out, despite the growth of the welfare state in the 1950s and 1960s, state support for families increased only moderately. What might be called the second age of family policy in Europe then did not begin until the 1970s. In this period family policy became more diversified. This period saw a move towards services, especially child-care and also a greater concern with the well-being of individual family members, in particular children and women. To the extent that there was a gender component in the first age, the underlying concern was about wives and mothers as carers and men as breadwinners. From the 1970s on, we see a distinct change in this regard and the problematisation of the situation of women from an equality perceptive. This led to some reframing of family and other domains of social policy from an equal opportunities perspective and saw moves to equalise rights for women (and mothers especially) and grant stronger employment-related leaves. Children’s rights were another part of the constellation, emerging especially in the 1990s as the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child began to make its way into national legislation. This added fuel to the growth of childcare services, a trend which has continued very strongly since the turn of the new century.

What were the goals of family policy and what motivated interest in it?

European countries tended to share three originating concerns: to improve the ‘quality’ and health of children; population considerations associated also with national strength and renewal; to effect redistribution towards families with children and improve their economic circumstances (Wennemo 1994; Gauthier 1996; Hantrais 2004; Michel 2011).

A desire to address low income and poverty among families with children was enduring. This concern trained the spotlight initially on the most needy sectors of society and so the first family cash supports in almost all countries were directed at special categories of families, typically necessitous mothers, widows and orphans. There was also a sense of supporting families with their child-rearing. The chords struck by cash transfers to families with children from this vantage point supported a sense of the family as a valued institution contributing to social stability over time. The acceptance of children as key to societal renewal and continuity (the next generation of citizens) was also at play here as was a sense that the family needed to be supported in its function of rearing children. Matters relating to the general health and reproduction of the population also figured among the early motivations for introducing and reforming child-related family policy.

Over time, some of the originating concerns have faded or have merged with other considerations. Some other concerns have also emerged. It is now quite widely accepted that the classic social policy models were framed around what is called the male breadwinner model of family (Lewis 1992). That model supported the one earner family where the husband and father was full-time employed and the woman was a fulltime wife and/or mother. This type of model or ideal type was supported by marriage subsidies for example, which were typically designed as supports for the working man whose wife was a full-time home maker (Montanari 2000). The limitations of this approach from the perspective of gender equality, and in particular the treatment and life chances of women, started to become an issue from the 1970s/1980s on (the timing varying across countries). In some European countries, the European Union was a major driver of gender equality oriented reforms. This typically involved introducing individual rights to benefits for women and recognition of family-based, caring-oriented work for the purpose of qualifying for benefits. It also saw the growth and expansion of employment-related leave.    

In an attempt at a cross-national overview, Kaufmann (2002: 426-8) provides the most comprehensive account of classic motivations for family policy within and across countries:

  • Institutional motives -  to preserve the family as an institution in its own right, often linked with conservative policy and a traditional family model;
  • Demographic motives – to deal with and control demographic changes, e.g., via measures to increase birth rates or diminish abortions;
  • Eugenic motives – to promote a population with particular genetic characteristics;
  • Economic motives – these include assisting the family with its human‐capital‐building and its contribution to economic functionality (e.g., strengthening the workforce via childcare);
  • Societal motives – building up the family as a constitutive element for the reproduction of society;
  • Socio‐political motives - to compensate for direct and opportunity costs of family responsibilities (e.g., caretaking, income losses) and to fight poverty;
  • Gender equality motives - to remove economic and social disadvantages especially for women; more recently also measures to achieve a more gender‐equal share of family and employment tasks and greater involvement on the part of fathers;
  • Children’s welfare motives - to provide the framework for public provision for children’s needs.

While this is helpful as an overview, not all of these concerns are dominant now and they do not necessarily appear in a recognisable form. Two concerns tower over the field today: work-family ‘reconciliation’, and the development and well-being of children. Of the two the former is the newer, picking up especially on organisational matters around employment and, how through its organisation, policy encourages or discourages particular types of family arrangement and seeks to generally accommodate family life to the regimen and exigencies of the labour market. This general orientation is rooted in a number of interacting concerns: economic functioning, gender equality, and fertility (in the sense of making it easier to be both a worker and a parent). The interest in children draws on concerns about their welfare and human capital development, echoing more long-standing views of children as a national asset. There is also, though, some recognition of children as agents and subjects and therefore as separable from the adults in whose charge their protection and care is vested.

Family policy in the UK has always been very particular and in comparison to some of the other countries in Europe underdeveloped. In this country, rather than generic family support, policy draws mainly from an anti-poverty and economic functioning orientation. State intervention in family lacked strong legitimacy in this country, apart from in preventing or managing social ills and social problems. The value placed on independence and self-sufficiency, on the part of both individuals and families, tended to downgrade state intervention for the purposes of offering family support and intervening in the family. This rendered family policy relatively under-developed; where it existed it was oriented mainly to the prevention of poverty and ‘crises’ occasioned by familial dysfunction (O’Connor et al 1999). However family policy developed very rapidly once Tony Blair’s first Labour government came to power in 1997. In fact, the changes effected from then on made the United Kingdom one of countries with the most extensive family policy reform programme in Europe. Under successive Labour governments, the UK rapidly moved away from its non-interventionist instinct (Daly 2010 a and b). As the evidence in the database shows, there have been reforms to expand provision for childcare and children’s early learning, extend employment leaves for both parents but for mothers especially, and introduce changes in cash benefits and tax credits to address family poverty and labour market participation of parents and other family members.  As well as increasing the amount of financial support to families, the main burden of support for children has been shifted from the social security to the tax system (thereby tying income support more closely to employment and earning). In the process, the labour market is foregrounded as a source of support, the family is purged of some of its economic ‘bad habits’ and the state’s corrective role focuses on incentivising participation in employment and disincentivising reliance on benefits (especially in the long term).  

How has scholarship made sense of family policy? - Insights from Scholarship on Family Policy

It is helpful here to break the scholarship into a number of dimensions.

To take the matter of definition and conceptualisation first, the term family policy has been used in social policy discussions to describe what government does to and for children and their families (Kamerman and Kahn 1997: 6). This might sound straightforward but it is not. In fact, not only is the definition and constitution of family policy not at all clear-cut but there is no agreement in scholarship on a definition. Family policy is in fact a very broad field - Gauthier (1999: 32) terms it a ‘wide umbrella of policies’. As such it requires many decisions about what to include and exclude.

The classic definition is that of Kamerman and Kahn (1978: 3) which differentiates between explicit family policy – where specific policies and programmes set out to achieve explicit goals regarding the family or which deliberately do things to and for the family – and implicit family policy where governmental actions and policies are not specifically or primarily addressed to the family but which have indirect effects on the situation of families and the well-being of the individuals who comprise them[1] The fields of policy which scholarship generally points to as having relevance for family include population policy, employment policy, social security policy. A key factor differentiating the two approaches is intentionality – explicit policies are where governments target particular goals in relation to the family whereas the core meaning of an implicit designation is that the family as such is not targeted but of course may be affected by other policies. This is the understanding of family policy as ‘perspective’ as against field in Kamerman and Kahn’s terms. One important underlying point is that countries always have policies that affect the family although they may not name them or even target the family as such.

While the explicit/implicit distinction has mainly been used in a descriptive fashion, Kamerman and Kahn see it as highlighting key aspects of the political system in regard to the family. In their view the existence and focus of family policy can reveal the extent to which there is sufficient homogeneity and sense of common purpose in a society to be able to agree upon objectives around family, whether actors have sufficient power to realise the objectives in policy and whether the value system supports such actions (1978: 477). This moves us beyond family policy as a set of instruments to draw attention to the fact that, in and through family policy, the state gives effect to a complex of philosophies, interests and political objectives. In effect, we have to speak of a state-family relationship. Fox Harding (1996) suggests that this relationship can be plotted along a continuum in which there are two ideal typical models of the family-state relationship at opposing ends. One is an authoritarian model whereby the state is dirigiste in its approach to family life with the clear intention of enforcing certain preferred behaviour patterns and forms prohibiting others. At the other extreme is a laissez-faire model of the family-state relationship. This is a libertarian type of state philosophy where the position of government and other institutions of the state treat family life as a domain of complete individual freedom of choice. The coercive power of the state is kept to a minimum in this approach. The underlying take away point is about the depth and range of the issues involved in family policy.

Descriptively, we can say that decision makers have probably always conceived of family policy through the functions performed by the family – classically childrearing, maintenance and care of adults unable to be financially independent, provision of financial and emotional well-being. But this is not exhaustive of the aims and functions of family policy. In fact, policy has also had a concern with the family as consisting of individuals (Mätzke and Ostner 2010). The tension between the two and the extent of prioritisation of one over the other is an important analytic insight in relation to the study of family policy over place and time. This has led to an important line of interest in the study of social policy: whether policies seek to familialise individuals or treat them more as autonomous individuals (Daly 2011; Lohmann and Zagel 2016). Most widely, this is conceived as analysis of the extent to which policies relieve the family (and/or individuals) of associated tasks and responsibilities – for example, the extent to which the state substitutes for the family, the degree to which it socialises family-related tasks or functions – especially care - and reduces the dependence of individuals on family membership (in terms of status and sources of support). Although it is now widely used in comparative welfare state studies (e.g., Esping-Andersen 2009), the familisation/defamilisation distinction derives from feminist work (Lister 1994; McLaughlin and Glendinning 1994) and in some ways is a development of Jane Lewis’s idea of the male breadwinner model (in that it places at the centre of analysis the degree of gender difference and inequality regarding dependence on others) (Lewis 1992). It also has resonance with Ann Orloff’s idea of gender equality as people’s (and women’s especially) capacity to form autonomous households (1992). The core reference is to responsibility for and execution of care for family members and how this plays out in terms of women’s life chances and life courses.

One significant insight to bear in mind, then, is that for policy purposes family operates at several levels (certainly at an individual and collective) and that policy is likely to be continuously engaged in managing this double dynamic between individuals and families (among others). One reason for why this is the case – and another thing to bear in mind about family policy - is that there are strong normative underpinnings in and to family policy. This means that policy usually takes forward certain norms and values around the family. Scholarship has developed the concept of familialism to reflect and study this. This concept explores the extent to which state policy is oriented to protecting and promoting the family as an institution or way of life. In some ways it occupies similar territory to the defamilisation concept but familism is recognised as an ideology which exists in some European countries (e.g., France) but is not present or present to a different degree in others. State policy may for example promote the family as the best locus of early education and care of children. For this purpose the state may orient its social policies in such a way as to incentivise mothers to stay at home, thereby endorsing a type of family arrangement now considered traditional. The normative orientation of policy is therefore an important element to be investigated.

But if we say that family policy is always about endorsing particular family models and behaviour over others, this points the spotlight also at the details of provision (and not just the ideological or normative level). It also raises the possibility that there may be instrumental as well as normative elements involved. Social legislation and social policies from the beginning have implicitly or explicitly regulated, and sought to influence, family and household formation and operational models: redefining the relationships of dependence and interdependence between gender and generations, modifying the conditions and costs of reproduction, rewarding, or  disincentivising, particular family patterns and wider family-economy engagement.

[1] They also add to this two other differentiations: comprehensive or episodic; harmonised or uncoordinated but these are not developed.

Specificities of the Approach

The definition that the database adopts of family policy is state-orientated in a broad sense. It falls between an explicit and implicit approach in that to be considered as relevant a policy measure does not explicitly have to target family but on the other hand we have to limit the field to core policy domains that are most likely to directly or indirectly affect the practices and norms defining and constituting family life. Hence, while it is recognised that the state regulates and constructs ‘the family’ also through housing, education, health and labour market policies, the database focus is on income policy, leave policy and childcare provision policy as these are in the foreground of family life. The definition of family policy informing the project is as follows:

Family policy is defined as policies by which state provision affects the situation and role of the family as an economic and social institution, and/or well-being, relationships and roles of children and adults within families (adapted from Bahle, 2008).

The field of interest is therefore focused on three main types of policy:

  • income support (cash benefits and tax-based measures);
  • leave from employment for child-related purposes;
  • childcare.

The central question underlying the database is therefore (a) What patterns of public support for families and family members exist and how are these framed and organised?

The deeper conceptual framework underlying the database does not treat these as separate. Rather, it recognises an underpinning nexus of rights, responsibilities and patterns of dependence, independence and inter-dependence amongst them (and also other domains of social policy). These set up circuits that can be seen as occurring at two levels. First, they exist within and between families in terms of the fulfillment of financial and caring rights and responsibilities. Second, they set up a series of relationships between the family and other institutions, including especially the state and the market.

The year 1997 was chosen as a reference point because it was the start of a new phase of family policy in England. This was the onset of the coming into power of successive Labour governments which would remain in power until 2010. The database also covers the period of the Conservative/Liberal Democratic coalition government between 2010 and 2015 and the initial year of the current Conservative government.  

What data or evidence about these policy areas is included?

  1. Policies dataset

The database focuses especially on three dimensions of each field of policy: 

  • the details of provision including the structure, functioning, and eligibility criteria of each benefit type;
  • the legislative basis;
  • the dates for key developments and the timeline as a whole.

It will be obvious that there are other dimensions of family policy which could be presented as well. These include especially financing and social expenditures and policy impacts and outcomes on families (Bahle and Maucher 1998). The expenditure data is already available through the OECD Family Database.[1] And there was insufficient evidence on outcomes to include it specifically in the database. Plus it is very difficult to trace outcomes of family policy. Partly this is a function of complexity of types and aims of family policy and partly it is a function of (missing) evidence or methodological complexity. It is hoped that the database might contribute to the production of evidence regarding impact.

The details of provision dimension is aimed at both providing a general overview of the policy, including the general functioning and the recipient, and a more detailed description of the policy’s entitlements and conditions of entitlement. Types of entitlement, periods and length of entitlement and rate of entitlement are described, as well as different conditions of entitlement concerning age, income, savings, earnings and employment. The section below provides a more detailed explanation of each indicator.

Details of provision are mostly taken from primary legislation, namely Acts and Statutory Instruments ( Other sources of information include Codes of Practices - which are meant to provide guidance to actors - for information on free childcare provision policies, Child Poverty Action Group Welfare Benefit books from 1997 until 2016 to double-check some information and, for current policies, information was complemented with that provided by the government in their website ( The document ‘Legal basis’ provides the legal basis for the information in each indicator for each policy. The user only needs to look at the number of policy in the dataset (first column) and find the same number in the document.

Finally, the dataset includes the relevant dates. ‘Year’ refers to the year of royal assent of the Act or the enactment of the Statutory Instrument. ‘Valid from’ and ‘Valid until’ dates are the date of commencement of the policy and the day before the day of commencement of the subsequent policy, respectively. And the ‘Valid from – childbirth related date’ and ‘Valid until – childbirth related date’ are the childbirth or adoption date from which the claimant is entitled to the benefit or service. The ‘Valid from’ and ‘Valid until’ dates are the ones used to construct the timeline, which can be found in the Datasets: Policies Dataset section.

Given variations across the four UK jurisdictions, the developments in England are the core focus. In each case it is made clear whether the particular provisions apply also in the three other UK jurisdictions (Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales).

The Structure of the Policies Dataset

The dataset is structured as follows: there are three types of policies analysed, namely cash and tax allowance, leave policies and childcare policies. All policies fall within one of the three types. Leave policies include maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave, maternity allowance, statutory  maternity pay, statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay. Childcare policies include free childcare provision, and finally, cash and tax allowance policies include family credits, which later evolved to working families tax credits, children’s tax credit, working tax credits, child tax credits, universal credit and child benefit.

Each of these policies has one or more rows. Each row indicates a legal change in policy affecting at least one indicator. The starting year is 1997, which means that if a policy already existed in 1997, the first row will contain the information of the policy in place in that year.

The first column is ‘Number of policy’. This is a unique identifier for each policy reform, and the number is useful to trace the detailed legal basis of the policy in the document ‘Legal basis’. ‘Type of policy’ column shows the category in which the policy belongs to, followed by ‘Name of policy’.

The column ‘Year’ refers to the year of Royal Assent of the Act or the enactment of the Statutory Instrument. This column is followed by ‘Focus of amendments to policy’ which displays the name of the indicator that has experienced a change in comparison to the previous policy in place. Note that not all amendments and reforms concerning the policy are analysed, but only those which affect the indicators which form the dataset. The ‘Legislative basis’ indicator spells out the Acts, Statutory Instruments and other documents which form the legal basis of the policy reform.

The next four columns refer to dates. ‘Valid from’ and ‘Valid until’ dates are the date of commencement of the policy and the day before the day of commencement of the subsequent policy, respectively. ‘Valid from – childbirth related date’ and ‘Valid until – childbirth related date’ are the childbirth or adoption date from which the claimant is entitled to the benefit or service. Policies still ongoing will have an ‘ongoing’ ‘Valid until’ or ‘Valid until – childbirth related date’.

Recipient’ and ‘General Functioning/Structure’ provide information on the recipient of the policy and a brief definition of the policy, and ‘Territorial application’ describes the territorial extent of the policy.

For policies which involve a monetary entitlement – such as employment leave pay, tax credits, child benefits - the entitlement indicators that will contain information are the ones whose heading contains the words ‘Monetary entitlements’. For policies which involve non-monetary entitlement – such as employment leave policies or provision of free childcare services – one needs to look at the entitlement indicators whose heading contains the words ‘Non-monetary entitlements’. Within the entitlement indicators (both monetary and non-monetary), some of them describe the policy (type, period, length and rate of entitlement) and others describe the eligibility criteria (i.e. entitlement conditions relating to age, employment, income, earnings, assets or savings, relationship to other members of the family).

Indicators describing the policy

The following indicators describe the entitlements and are common for both monetary and non-monetary entitlements. The indicator ‘Type of entitlement’ is mostly used for leave policies and it spells out the different types of leave and pay that exist (e.g. ordinary leave, additional leave, compulsory leave, ordinary pay, additional pay…). The indicator ‘Period of entitlement’ describes the situation and timing in which an entitlement arises and ends, if applicable. ‘Length of entitlement’ spells out the total amount of time that a claimant can be entitled to a benefit or service. ‘Other details’ contain information that was deemed relevant and did not fit in any other indicator describing the policy.

 ‘Rate of entitlement’ is only available for monetary entitlements, and it specifies the amount in pounds and the tapering rate, if applicable, of the entitlement. Although most benefits are periodically up-rated (usually via Statutory Instruments), we do not treat up-rating of benefits as a policy reform, with the exception of a change in tapering rates, and therefore the dataset does not keep track of all up-rates. Nevertheless, whenever a policy reform occurs, the dataset updates the rate of entitlement to equate it to the last up-rate done within the period during which the policy reform is valid. The information of the year to which the amount of benefit belongs is always available in the same indicator.

Indicators describing the eligibility criteria

The following indicators describe the eligibility criteria of entitlements and are common for both monetary and non-monetary entitlements. The indicator ‘Employment-related conditions’ describes any criteria related to employment that the claimant needs to fulfil to be entitled to the benefit or service. The indicator ‘Conditions related to the relationship to other family members’ spells out the criteria related to family relationships that need to be fulfilled. For example, to claim for some leave polices the claimant must be responsible for a child. ‘Other entitlement conditions’ describe other eligibility criteria which does not fit into any other indicator.

The following indicators are only available for monetary entitlements. ‘Age-related conditions’ describe any eligibility criteria related to the age of the claimant or the child. Earnings-related, income-related and assets/savings-related conditions, describe any eligibility criteria related to these conditions.

How to use the Database

The user is provided with a variety of analytic viewpoints or strategies. How the user navigates the database depends on the goals that he or she has in mind.

The Policies Dataset can be browsed using the ‘Timeline’ option, the Leave and Pay Policies, Childcare policies and Cash and Tax Allowance policies tabs or the Download tab.

  • The Timeline tab shows the policies in an interactive timeline. The user can view the policies by selecting them in the timeline. It is useful for users who wish to compare few policies and few indicators.
  • The Leave and Pay Policies, Childcare policies and Cash and Tax Allowance policies tabs allow the user to search by policy and year of introduction. This option is useful for users who are interested in knowing more about one policy at a certain point in time, as opposed to comparing policies across time.
  • The Download tab downloads the full table in excel format. It is useful for users who wish to compare a large number of policies or indicators. 
  1. Legislative dataset

This dataset is a relation of all legislation used by each policy of the dataset. It also contains links to the primary legislation.

Bahle, T. (2008) ‘Family policy patterns in the enlarged EU’, in Handbook of Quality of Life in the Enlarged European Union, ed. J. Alber, T. Fahey and C. Saraceno,  London: Routledge, pp. 100-125.

Bahle, T. and Maucher, M. (1998) Developing a Family Policy Database for Europe, Germany MZES, Arbeitsbereich 1/27. Available at:

Daly, M. (2010a) ‘Families versus states/markets’, in F.G. Castles, S. Leibfried, J. Lewis, H. Obinger and C. Pierson (eds) The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 139-151.

Daly, M. (2010b) ‘Shifts in family policy in the UK under New Labour’, Journal of European Social Policy, 2010, 20, 5: 433-443.

Daly, M. (2011) ‘What adult worker model? A critical look at recent social policy reform in Europe from a gender and family perspective,’ Social Politics, 18, 1, 2011: 1-23.  

Esping-Andersen, G. (2009) The Incomplete Revolution. Adapting to Women’s New Roles, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 145-166.

Fox Harding, L. (1996) Family, State and Social Policy, Basingstoke: Macmillan,

Gauthier, A.H. (1996) The State and the Family A Comparative Analysis of Family Policies in Industrialized Countries, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Gauthier, A.H. (1999) ‘The sources and methods of comparative family policy research’, Comparative Social Research, 18: 31-56.

Hantrais, L. (2004) Family Policy Matters, Bristol: Policy Press.

Kamerman, S. and Kahn, A.J. (1978) ‘Families and the idea of family policy’, in Kamerman, S. and Kahn, A.J. (eds) Family Policy: Government and Families in Fourteen Countries, New York: Columbia University Press, pp 1-16. 

Kamerman, S. and Kahn, A.J. (1997) Family Change and Family Polices in Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Kaufmann, F.X. (2002) ‘Politics and policies towards the family in Europe: A framework and an inquiry into their differences and convergences’, in Kaufmann, F-X, Kuijsten, A., Schulze, H-J and Strohmeier, K.P. (eds) Family Life and Family Policies in Europe, vol 2 Problems and Issues in Comparative Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 419-490. 

Keck, W., Hessel, P. and Saraceno, C. (2009) Database on Intergenerational Policy Indicators Methodological Report, Berlin: WZB.

Lewis, J. (1992) ‘Gender and the development of welfare regimes’, Journal of European Social Policy, 2: 159-173.

Lister, R. (1994) ‘’She has other duties’ – women, citizenship and social security’, in Baldwin, S. and Falkingham, J. (eds) Social Security and Social Change, New Challenges to the Beveridge Model,  Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, pp. 31-44.

Lohmann, H. and Zagel, H. (2016) ‘Family policy in comparative perspective: The concepts and measurement of familization and defamilization’, Journal of European Social Policy, 26 (1): 48-65.

Mätzke, M. and Ostner, I. (2010) ‘Introduction: Change and continuity in recent family policies’, Journal of European Social Policy, 20, 5: 387-98.

McLaughlin, E. and Glendinning, C. (1994) ‘Paying for care in Europe: Is there a feminist approach?’ In Hantrais, L. and Mangan, S. (eds) Family Policy and the Welfare of Women, Cross National paper, Loughborough, pp  52-68.

Michel, S. (2011) ‘Moving targets: towards a framework for studying family policies and welfare states’, in Kettunen, P. and Petersen, K. (eds) Beyond Welfare State Models Transnational historical perspectives on social policy, Chjeltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 119-146.

Montanari, I. (2000) ‘From family wage to marriage subsidy and child benefits: Controversy and consensus in the development of family support,’ Journal of European Social Policy, 10 (4): 307-333.

O’Connor, J.S., Orloff, A.S. and Shaver, S. (1999) States, Markets, Families Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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