The Working Papers are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues. More than 100 Working Papers have been published to date, with recent and forthcoming papers covering the full range of the Centre's agenda. The Working Papers series incorporates the earlier series of Innocenti Occasional Papers (with sub-series), also available for download.
This paper is produced alongside Innocenti Report Card 7 Child Well-being in Rich Countries. It provides more detail on how the indicators were chosen for the Report Card, and how they were combined into components and then into dimensions. It also provides additional analysis to complement the Report Card.
This paper discusses some of the implications of recent demographic changes in the CEE/CIS on children of the region. The first part of the paper documents the striking changes in population size and structures which have occurred since the beginning of transition, and which have led to a substantial reduction in the child population. It is argued that they have been mainly driven by the drop in birth rates which has characterised the whole region, but which has been most dramatic in the CEE and Western CIS. Some countries in these subregions now rank among those with the lowest levels of fertility in the world, and the shrinking cohorts of children in these countries face the prospect of a growing old-age dependency burden.
An accumulation of research across hundreds of studies shows the benefits of quality early childhood care and education for children’s later learning, school success and social development. In recognition of the value of providing early learning opportunities, many nations have expanded early childhood care and education in recent years. Mexico provides an interesting case in which expansion of early childhood care and education has occurred in the past 5 years, as have initiatives to improve quality and revise the national curriculum for pre-schoolers.
The paper reflects on the potential of the OECD DAC creditor reporting system to systematically capture flows of official development assistance (ODA) in support of realising children’s rights. The growth in modalities for delivering aid - including sector programmes, SWAP’s, dedicated funds which encompass public-private partnerships such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as the OECD-DAC commitment to promote harmonization and simplification in provision of ODA and promote government ownership through general budget support - raises challenges to assessing ODA for children. The paper goes on to analyse ODA trends for basic social services.
Children’s opportunities to develop according to their talents and competencies and to establish trust in the adults with whom they live, their neighbourhoods, kindergardens, schools and municipalities crucially influence the future of the society in which they grow up. Yet, international comparisons have until recently centred on resource availability, material well-being and health outcomes. However, initiatives such as the OECD/PISA and WHO surveys of ‘healthy lifestyles among school-aged children’ have explored child well-being along several dimensions.
This paper examines poverty in recent years among children in the countries of South Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The study analyses two dimensions of child poverty - according to household composition, and according to its urban, rural and regional dimensions. The most important findings from a policy point of view are the strong rural character of child poverty, and the relationship between child population density (at the level of the country, the sub-national region, and the household) and child poverty: where child population shares are higher, child poverty rates are also higher.
This paper analyzes the changes that have intervened in the field of income poverty and human poverty since the onset of the transition in Moldova. With a biblical contraction of GDP, a fast rise in inequality, a drop in social expenditure and a weakening of civil society, most indicators of income poverty and human poverty deteriorated sharply after 1991. A clear improvement is evident since 2001, but most indicators of well-being still have to recover their pre-transition levels.
Economic collapse in the former Communist bloc led to soaring levels of child poverty in the 1990s. The effects of rising unemployment, under-employment and wage arrears were exacerbated by the erosion of state support for families with children as governments responded to a collapse in revenue. Since 1998, even the poorer countries of the bloc - those in South Eastern Europe and the CIS - have seen a return to economic growth. But have the benefits of growth been felt by children? Are child support policies being restored or restructured as economic conditions improve, and to what effect?
In this paper the situation of three EU countries that have recently experienced substantial but very different reforms of their systems to support families with children is analysed and compared: Austria, Spain and the United Kingdom. The structure of these systems is very different: Austria gives emphasis to universal benefits, Spain to tax concessions and the United Kingdom to means-tested benefits. Basically, the recent reforms have reinforced these structures in each country while increasing the amount of public resources directed towards children. However, are the chosen strategies the most adequate for each country? What would have happened to the economic well-being of children if instead of reinforcing the existing types of policies these countries had completely transformed the architecture of their systems in another direction? More concretely, what would be the effect on child poverty and on income distribution?
This paper documents levels and changes in child poverty rates in 12 OECD countries using data from the Luxembourg Income Study project, and focusing upon an analysis of the reasons for changes over the 1990s. The objective is to uncover the relative role of income transfers from the state in determining the magnitude and direction of change in child poverty rates, holding other demographic and labour market factors constant. As such the paper offers a cross-country overview of child poverty, changes in child poverty and the impact of public policy in North America and Europe.