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Home > Arhiva > 2011 > Numar: 3 > Tax-Benefit System and European Households With Children: East Meeting West?

 Tax-Benefit System and European Households With Children: East Meeting West?

  • Eva Mitchell (Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic, tel: 00420 210 310 238, e-mail: )

It is common to regard the welfare systems of countries from Central and Eastern Europe as being similar. Based on shared communist past and macro-level similarities in post-1989 development many researchers classify them into one “post-socialist” type. This article focuses on the micro-level and using the Model Family Method it assesses the generosity of financially support available to model households with young children. Using unique data on the tax-benefit system as of December 2008 it explores the similarities and differences in the structure and level of financial provisions for families in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia and Poland and a number of Western states. Comparison is based on an indicator assessing the difference in the value of all child related benefits when contrasted with benefits paid to families with no children. The key questions addressed are: Which family types are supported most by national governments? And how do the selected countries group according to their relative generosity to specific model families?

Keywords: Family, Welfare State, Social Policy, Tax-Benefit System, Work