The position of single-parent families directly relates to one of the major critiques of the social investment strategy. Despite efforts to improve employment and make work pay to prevent poverty, European welfare states have witnessed disappointing trends in poverty (Vandenbroucke and Vleminckx, 2011). Cantillon (2011) argued that social investment policies are better suited for work-rich households than work- poor households at the bottom of the income distribution. This critique begs the empirical question of whether a transition to ‘in kind’ social investment policies can be sufficiently effective in improving employment to protect households against poverty, and if reducing transfers has rendered tax-benefit systems inadequate (cf. Nelson, 2011). We examine this below, focusing on family policies. Specifically, we assess whether social investment (reconciliation policies) is a more effective strategy than social protection (family allowances) for single-parent families.
Nieuwenhuis, R., & Maldonado, L. C. (2015). Prepare versus Repair? Combining Parental Leave and Family Allowances for Social Investment Against Single-Parent Poverty. Belgian Review of Social Security, (1), 115–123.