Volume 43 - Article 42 | Pages 1235–1262  

Disentangling the complexity of family policies: SPIN data with an application to Lithuania and Sweden, 1995–2015

By Katharina Wesolowski, Sunnee Billingsley, Gerda Neyer


Background: Family policies influence how men and women structure their time in the labour market and in the home. Analyses based on expenditure data, regime types, and single policies, however, cannot represent how policies support individuals’ labour market attachment and care for children. Data from the Social Policy Indicator (SPIN) database offer a tool for measuring the extent to which the family policies of a country support both the earner-carer and the traditional-family models. This large-scale database offers harmonized data on social policies over time for a wide range of countries. It allows scholars to empirically push the frontiers of research on the intersection of gender equality, family and employment dynamics, and social policy.

Methods: We describe how measures of earner-carer and traditional-family support were constructed using data from the SPIN database. We use the cases of Lithuania and Sweden to compare the policy developments over time and demonstrate how these developments are represented by SPIN data.

Contribution: We present data from the SPIN database, which provides a useful tool for demographers and social scientists interested in the link between family policies and fertility. We describe the range of applications in demographic research so far as well as the advantages and limitations of the database. Using Lithuania and Sweden as an example, we also highlight how the data mirror convergence and divergence in family policy in comparative perspective.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Lives saved, lives lost, and under-reported COVID-19 deaths: Excess and non-excess mortality in relation to cause-specific mortality during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden
Volume 50 - Article 1

Parental leave policies and continued childbearing in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
Volume 40 - Article 51

The Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Programme: Concept, content, and research examples
Volume 35 - Article 9

Jobs, careers, and becoming a parent under state socialist and market conditions: Evidence from Estonia 1971-2006
Volume 30 - Article 64

Economic crisis and recovery: Changes in second birth rates within occupational classes and educational groups
Volume 24 - Article 16

Should governments in Europe be more aggressive in pushing for gender equality to raise fertility? The second "NO"
Volume 24 - Article 10

Cohort fertility patterns in the Nordic countries
Volume 20 - Article 14

Generations and Gender Survey (GGS): Towards a better understanding of relationships and processes in the life course
Volume 17 - Article 14

Educational attainment and ultimate fertility among Swedish women born in 1955-59
Volume 14 - Article 16

Education and childlessness: The relationship between educational field, educational level, and childlessness among Swedish women born in 1955-59
Volume 14 - Article 15

A summary of Special Collection 3: Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Perspectives and Developments
Volume 10 - Article 13

Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Introduction
Special Collection 3 - Article 1

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Geographic proximity to siblings in older adulthood
Volume 49 - Article 7    | Keywords: geographical proximity, older adults, population, register data, Sweden

Educational reproduction in Sweden: A replication of Skopek and Leopold 2020 using Swedish data
Volume 48 - Article 25    | Keywords: differential fertility, education, prospective models, reproduction, social mobility, Sweden

Disentangling the Swedish fertility decline of the 2010s
Volume 47 - Article 12    | Keywords: childbearing, fertility, fertility decline, fertility trends, Sweden

The formal demography of kinship III: Kinship dynamics with time-varying demographic rates
Volume 45 - Article 16    | Keywords: family, kinship, matrix population models, population projection, Sweden

Simulating family life courses: An application for Italy, Great Britain, Norway, and Sweden
Volume 44 - Article 1    | Keywords: family life course, fertility, Italy, microsimulation, Norway, partnerships, Sweden, United Kingdom