Children of Austerity: Impact of the Great Recession on Child Poverty in Rich Countries

ISBN : 9780198797968

Bea Cantillon; Yekaterina Chzhen; Sudhanshu Handa
368 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2017
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  • Examines the impact of the financial crisis on households with children
  • Includes case studies of Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States
  • Analyses the impact of government austerity policies on living standards

The 2008 financial crisis triggered the worst global recession since the Great Depression. Many OECD countries responded to the crisis by reducing social spending. Through 11 diverse country case studies (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States), this volume describes the evolution of child poverty and material well-being during the crisis, and links these outcomes with the responses by governments. The analysis underlines that countries with fragmented social protection systems were less able to protect the incomes of households with children at the time when unemployment soared. In contrast, countries with more comprehensive social protection cushioned the impact of the crisis on households with children, especially if they had implemented fiscal stimulus packages at the onset of the crisis. Although the macroeconomic 'shock' itself and the starting positions differed greatly across countries, while the responses by governments covered a very wide range of policy levers and varied with their circumstances, cuts in social spending and tax increases often played a major role in the impact that the crisis had on the living standards of families and children.


1: Introduction: Scope and Methods, Yekaterina Chzhen, Sudhanshu Handa, Bea Cantillon, and Brian Nolan
2: Impact of the Economic crisis on Children in Rich Countries, Yekaterina Chzhen, Brian Nolan, Bea Cantillon, and Sudhanshu Handa
3: Belgium: Creeping Vulnerability of Children, Julie Vinck, Wim Van Lancker, and Bea Cantillon
4: Child Poverty during the Recession in Germany, Thomas Bahle and Peter Krause
5: The Impact of the Great Recession on Child Poverty in Greece, Manos Matsaganis
6: Children in the Economic Crisis: Hungary, András Gábos and István György Tóth
7: Children in the Economic Crisis: Ireland, Brian Nolan and Bertrand Maître
8: The Impact of the Great Recession on Child Poverty: The Case of Italy, Luisa Natali and Chiara Saraceno
9: Children in the Economic Crisis: Japan, Aya K. Abe
10: Children in the Great Recession: Spain, Sara Ayllón
11: Sweden: Child Poverty during Two Recessions, Jan O. Jonsson and Carina Mood
12: Impact of the Recession on Children in the United Kingdom, Jonathan Bradshaw, Yekaterina Chzhen, and Gill Main
13: USA Child Poverty: The Impact of the Great Recession, Christopher Wimer and Timothy Smeeding
14: Learning the Lessons: Enhancing Capacity to Protect Children, Brian Nolan, Bea Cantillon, Sudhanshu Handa, and Yekaterina Chzhen

About the author: 

Bea Cantillon, Director, Hermand Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp
Yekaterina Chzhen, Social and Economic Policy Specialist, UNICEF Office
Sudhanshu Handa, Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Brian Nolan, Professor of Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford


Aya K. Abe, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
Sara Ayllón, Universitat de Girona 
Thomas Bahle, University of Mannheim 
Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York
Bea Cantillon, University of Antwerp
Yekaterina Chzhen, UNICEF Office of Research
András Gábos, Tárki Social Research Institute
Sudhanshu Handa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jan O. Jonsson, University of Oxford
Peter Krause, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
Gill Main, University of Leeds
Bertrand Maître, Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin
Manos Matsaganis, Politecnico di Milano
Carina Mood, Swedish Institute for Social Research
Luisa Natali, UNICEF Office of Research 
Brian Nolan, University of Oxford
Chiara Saraceno, WZB Berlin
Timothy Smeeding, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
István György Tóth, Tárki Social Research Institute
Wim Van Lancker, Research Foundation Flanders 
Julie Vinck, Research Foundation Flanders 
Christopher Wimer, Columbia University

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