Rense Nieuwenhuis, associate professor in sociology at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) at Stockholm University, studies how family diversity and social policy affect poverty and economic inequality. Typically, his research is country-comparative and has a gender perspective. His recent focus was on single-parent families, how women’s earnings affect inequality between households, and family policy outcomes.
He published in journals such as Social Forces, European Sociological Review, European Societies, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Journal of European Social Policy. He co-edited the booka ‘The triple bind of single-parent families’, the ‘Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy’, and ‘Social Policy in Changing European Societies’. Occasionally, he acts as independent expert for organisations such as UN Women, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).
Complete Curriculum Vitae
My complete curriculum vitae and full publication list can be downloaded here.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Housing conditions of single mothers in Europe: the role of housing policies
2022. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Hannah Zagel. European Societies, 1-27Article
This study investigates housing conditions of single mothers in the context of housing policies. We study single mothers’ probability to experience housing deprivation, overcrowded housing, overburdening costs of housing, and neighbourhood problems across European countries. We consider the structural consequences of home ownership rates, and policies related to regulation of rental markets, housing benefits and housing prices. We apply a multi-level framework to EU-SILC data on 21,937 single mothers, from 195 country-years and covering 21 European countries from 2008 to 2017. First, we find a trade-off in the provision of free housing or housing at reduced rents, that helps to reduce housing cost overburden for single mothers, but is also associated with higher rates of housing deprivation, overcrowding and neighbourhood problems. Next, in contexts with stricter rental market regulation, single mothers’ housing deprivation is lower. Higher housing benefits reduce the risk of housing deprivation as well as overcrowding, but in contexts where home ownership is common, single mothers tend to experience more overcrowding. Single mothers are more likely to report neighbourhood problems in societies where housing prices are high. Our findings suggest that factors within the control of policy makers can be beneficial to the housing conditions of single mothers.
No activation without reconciliation? The interplay between ALMP and ECEC in relation to women's employment, unemployment and inactivity in 30 OECD countries, 1985-2018
2022. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Social Policy & Administration 56 (5), 808-826Article
Comparative welfare state research as examined the outcomes of active labour market policies (ALMP) and work-family reconciliation policies by and large been separately. As a result, potential complementarities between these policy areas have received scant attention empirically. Using macro-level data, this study answers the question to what extent, and in which way, governments' efforts in ALMP and in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are complementary to each other in promoting women's employment rates and reducing women's unemployment and inactivity rates in 30 OECD countries from 1985 to 2018. The article theorises about how the various policies that constitute a welfare state relate to each other, distinguishing between pluralism, complementarity and substitutability. These findings provide support for the notion of welfare pluralism, in the sense that ALMP and ECEC policies work together in improving women's employment rates in slightly different ways: ALMP achieve this through reducing women's unemployment rates, whereas ECEC also achieve lower inactivity rates for women. There was, however, more support for the notion of substitution rather than complementarity: the marginal benefits associated with an increase in either ALMP or ECEC were smaller in the context of large investments in the other policy. In other words, the highest rates of women's employment, and the lowest rates of unemployment and inactivity, are found in countries with large investments in both ALMP and ECEC, but such higher investments are associated with diminishing returns.
Social Policy in Changing European Societies: Research Agendas for the 21st Century
2022. Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis, Mara Yerkes.Book
Diverging Trends in Single-Mother Poverty across Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom: Toward a Comprehensive Explanatory Framework
2021. Hannah Zagel, Sabine Hübgen, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Social ForcesArticle
To explain single-mother poverty, existing research has either emphasized individualistic, or contextual explanations. Building on the prevalences and penalties framework (Brady et al. 2017), we advance the literature on single-mother poverty in three aspects: First, we extend the framework to incorporate heterogeneity among single mothers across countries and over time. Second, we apply this extended framework to Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden, whose trends in single-mother poverty (1990–2014) challenge ideal-typical examples of welfare state regimes. Third, using decomposition analyses, we demonstrate variation across countries in the relative importance of prevalences and penalties to explain time trends in single-mother poverty. Our findings support critiques of static welfare regime typologies, which are unable to account for policy change and poverty trends of single mothers. We conclude that we need to understand the combinations of changes in single mothers’ social compositions and social policy contexts, if we want to explain time trends in single-mother poverty.
Chapter 1: Social policy research in changing European societies
2022. Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis, Mara Yerkes. Social Policy in Changing European Societies, 1-15Chapter
Directions of thought for single parents in the EU
2021. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Community, Work & Family 24 (5), 559-566Article
This policy note highlights contemporary research on single parents, and reflects on its implications for social policy developments in the European Union. Three directions of thought are developed regarding single parents' resources, employment and social policies. The aim is to expand the scope of choice among policy alternatives for policy makers. The rise of shared residence urges us to reconsider the gendered nature of single parenthood, considering how to support separated fathers to be involved in their children's life. Employment can come with all kinds of advantages, but earnings are often inadequate for single parents to guarantee a poverty-free existence. With respect to redistributive social policies, single parents' economic position can be heavily affected by policies that are not specifically designed for single parents, or even for families with children. This brings into focus, analogue to gender mainstreaming, the importance of mainstreaming family diversity.
Poverty and the family in Europe
2021. Jonathan Bradshaw, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Research Handbook on the Sociology of the Family, 400-416Chapter
Towards a new consolidated framework for analysing benefit coverage
2021. Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Journal of European Social Policy 31 (3), 352-362Article
The conceptualisation and measurement of benefit coverage is muddled with considerable confusion. In this forum contribution, we propose a new consolidated framework for the analysis of benefit coverage. Three sequential steps in measurement are suggested, involving the calculation of coverage rates, eligibility rates and take-up rates in social protection. Each step of the analysis focuses on particular aspects of programme legislation and implementation, and together the new framework will substantially improve the possibilities of research to inform policymaking. We provide an empirical illustration of our approach based on Swedish data, and highlight how our new consolidated framework for analysing benefit coverage provides a reorientation of the research agenda on benefit coverage.
Workers’ well-being in the context of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
2021. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Mara A. Yerkes. Community, Work and Family 24 (2), 226-235Article
In this Voices article, we use emerging evidence to reflect on the consequences of Covid-19 for various aspects of workers' wellbeing. This brief review emphasises how COVID-19 exacerbates existing, well-understood inequalities, along the intersections of community, work, and family. Workers on the periphery of the labour market, including non-standard workers and the self-employed, but also women and low-paid workers, are experiencing significant losses in relation to work, working hours and/or wages. Even once the pandemic is contained, its impact will continue to be felt by many communities, workers, and families for months and years to come.
Childcare Indicators for the Next Generation of Research
2020. Sebastian Sirén (et al.). The Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy, 627-655Chapter
This chapter argues for the importance of developing theoretically grounded family policy indicators, with emphasis on childcare/ECEC indicators. The chapter critically introduces the conceptual frameworks underpinning the most prevalent currents in comparative research, and then presents the most prominent empirical approaches utilized in existing studies. Next, it maps the availability of comparative data on the most widely used indicators and discusses the main sources from which this data originates. The final section concludes by pointing toward some challenges for the current research agenda, along with some tentative solutions. In particular, we argue for the need to engage in a research agenda that integrates family policies, including social care services, as essential components of social citizenship.
Community, work, and family in times of COVID-19
2020. Jenny Fisher (et al.). Community, Work and Family 23 (3), 247-252Article
Sweden: Adjoining the Guarantee Pension with NDC
2020. Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis, Susanne Alm. Progress and Challenges of Nonfinancial Defined Contribution Pension Schemes, 215-239Chapter
The Diminishing Power of One? Welfare State Retrenchment and Rising Poverty of Single-Adult Households in Sweden 1988-2011
2020. Susanne Alm, Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis. European Sociological Review 36 (2), 198-217Article
In this study, we analyse the sharp rise in poverty among working-age singles and single parents in Sweden. In a dual-earner society like Sweden, we show that the return of mass unemployment in combination with the retreat of a generous and inclusive welfare state have substantially increased the poverty risks of single-adult households, who cannot rely on the income buffering effect of the family. Whereas cutbacks to unemployment benefits have been detrimental for the relative income position of single-adult households, the poverty risks of couples with and without children are much less affected. Individual-level characteristics of the poor persons themselves provide little explanatory leverage for why trends in poverty diverge by family form. Our results raise a number of issues of relevance for the wider academic debate about the capacity of the welfare state to adequately respond to both old and new social risk groups.
The situation of single parents in the EU
2020. Rense Nieuwenhuis.Report
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, describes trends in the situation of single parents in the EU (with additional evidence from Iceland and Norway). It analyses the resources, employment, and soc ial policy context of single parents and provides r eco mm enda tions to improve their situation, with attention to the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences.
Trends in Women’s Employment and Poverty Rates in OECD Countries: A Kitagawa–Blinder–Oaxaca Decomposition
2020. Rense Nieuwenhuis (et al.). Italian Economic Journal 6 (1), 37-61Article
Although employment growth is propagated as being crucial to reduce poverty across EU and OECD countries, the actual impact of employment growth on poverty rates is still unclear. This study presents novel estimates of the association between macro-level trends in women’s employment and trends in poverty, across 15 OECD countries from 1971 to 2013. It does so based on over 2 million household-level observations from the LIS Database, using Kitagawa–Blinder–Oaxaca (KBO) decompositions. The results indicate that an increase of 10% points in women’s employment rate was associated with a reduction of about 1% point of poverty across these countries. In part, this reduction compensated for developments in men’s employment that were associated with higher poverty. However, in the Nordic countries no such poverty association was found, as in these countries women’s employment rates were very high and stable throughout the observation period. In countries that initially showed marked increases in women’s employment, such as the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Canada, and the United States, the initial increases in women’s employment rates were typically followed by a period in which these trends levelled off. Hence, our findings first and foremost suggest that improving gender equality in employment is associated with lower poverty risks. Yet, the results also suggest that the potential of following an employment strategy to (further) reduce poverty in OECD countries has, to a large extent, been depleted.
Women’s Employment and Economic Inequality Between Households
2020. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Oxford Bibliographies in SociologyChapter
This article provides an overview of the emerging literature on how trends in women’s employment have affected levels of inequality between households. It also sets the stage for future research endeavors. The rise in female labor force participation, and in conjunction the rise in women’s earnings, has been one of the biggest changes in economic activity in recent decades and in many countries. These long-term trends in women’s employment and associated changes in families are discussed in the section on Family Revolution(s). As such, it is remarkable how little attention mainstream analyses of high and rising levels of economic inequality have paid to gender and women’s employment. The first section, on Economic Inequality: Horizontal versus Vertical Perspectives, sets out the distinction between two perspectives on economic inequality. The first pertains to economic differences between households across the income distribution, referred to as Vertical Economic Inequality. The second pertains to economic differences between groups, such as between women and men, referred to as Horizontal Economic Inequality. The next section, on Integrating Horizontal and Vertical Inequality, demonstrates that levels of vertical inequality are affected by horizontal inequality, in this case specifically applied to how economic differences between households are directly related to economic differences between women and men. There is by now a literature that clearly shows how the rise in women’s employment and earnings (and thus smaller horizontal differences between women and men) reduces vertical inequality between households. This has been demonstrated in a vast amount of Country-Specific Studies as well as in Country-Comparative Studies, a consensus that also resonates in a number of Research Overviews. The next section argues that although it has been convincingly demonstrated that women’s employment and earnings have had an attenuating effect on inequality between households, less is known about how and why this is the case and under which conditions. As such, it combines literature from various fields (including sociology, demography, and economics) to develop a Research Agenda to further the literature on the relationship between women’s employment and economic inequality between households. This section addresses six different questions: Who? is employed and has certain levels of earnings, and with whom do they form a household (With Whom? Homogamy and With Whom? Household Formation). These sections also cover determinants of women’s paid work, such as unpaid care- or housework. The next section covers What Income Effect? can be expected from, for instance, motherhood and housework, and whether these effects vary across the income distribution. The section on What Context? brings into focus the welfare state and public policies, and a final subsection briefly addresses the question of Which Methods? may be particularly effective to further this research agenda. This article concludes by acknowledging a few Outstanding Questions that are less developed in the literature and therefore less integrated into this article—but may nevertheless point to interesting venues for further research.
Family policy as an institutional context of economic inequality
2019. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ariana Need, Henk van der Kolk. Acta Sociologica 62 (1), 64-80Article
It is demonstrated that family policies are an important aspect of the institutional context of earnings inequality among coupled households. Although seldom integrated into prominent analyses of economic inequality, women’s earnings are consistently found to reduce relative inequality among households. This means that family policies, as well-known determinants of women’s employment and earnings, are important contextual determinants of economic inequality. Using Luxembourg Income Study data from 18 OECD countries in the period 1981–2008, this study demonstrates that women have higher earnings, and that their earnings reduce inequality among coupled households more in institutional contexts with generous paid leave and public childcare. We found no sizeable association between financial support policies, such as family allowances and tax benefits to families with children, and the degree to which women’s earnings contribute to inequality among coupled households. Family policy arrangements that facilitate women’s employment and earnings are associated with less economic inequality among coupled households.
Poverty in old age
2019. Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Routledge International Handbook of Poverty, 257-267Chapter
Single Parents in Context
2019. Laurie C. Maldonado, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Oxford Bibliographies in SociologyChapter
Sweden: Adjoining the Guarantee Pension with NDC
2019. Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis, Susanne Alm.Report
This paper analyzes old-age incomes in Sweden from a pension policy perspective, focusing on both the economic position of elderly citizens and the redistributive effects of the pension system’s different parts. The empirical analyses show that each subsequent cohort that reaches retirement age faces higher relative poverty risks than previous cohorts. The relative decline in the value of the guaranteed minimum pension vis-à-vis the real income growth of wage earners brings to the forefront the issues of indexation of the guarantee and the ceiling on the means-tested housing benefits like the basic safety net for pensioners.
Who closes the gender gap in old-age poverty?
2019. Laure Doctrinal, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Inequality Matters: LIS Newsletter (11), 8-12Article
Gender equality and poverty are intrinsically linked: A contribution to the continued monitoring of selected Sustainable Development Goals
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis (et al.).Report
This discussion paper provides an updated analy-sis of gendered economic inequality in high- and middle-income countries. A review of the literature demonstrates that such an analysis needs to explic-itly recognize that gender, poverty and (economic) inequality are intrinsically linked. Specifically, the paper addresses two sets of questions: First, how do intra-family resource allocation and distribution patterns both reflect and shape gender inequalities in power and well-being, and what factors—including policy-related ones—can mitigate these inequalities? Second, how do families as gendered institutions contribute to broader socio-economic inequalities, and what can be done to reduce/reverse these inequalities? Using data from the LIS Database, this paper shows considerable differences among 42 countries with respect to how likely women were to have their own income. The period from 2000 to 2010/2014 saw increasing rates of own incomes as well as women’s incomes consti-tuting larger shares in total household income. A key finding is that in countries where many women have an income of their own, relative poverty rates are lower. The comparative analyses, combined with a review of the literature, suggest that welfare state arrangements that support working women not only improve the overall employment rates of women but also help to prevent particularly women in low-income households from living in dependence and instead to have an income of their own—thus reinforcing the potential for poverty reduction. Moreover, institutional contexts that are generally conducive to women’s employment tend to be effective across family forms.
Kan ouderschapsverlof te lang zijn?
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ariana Need, Henk Van Der Kolk. Mens & Maatschappij 93 (2), 175-178Article
Single-Parent Families and In-Work Poverty
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Laurie C. Maldonado. Handbook on In-Work Poverty, 171-192Chapter
Single-parent families face unique challenges when it comes to in-work poverty. Without a second caregiver and earner, single parents have to compete with dual-earner couples for their position in the earnings distribution. Facing precarious employment and gendered wage inequality, single-parent families face a high risk of experiencing poverty even when they are working. This chapter presents empirical evidence on in-work poverty and inadequate wages in the policy context of 18 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The impact of family structure, occupation, regulations of part-time work, paid parental leave, and various redistributive policies are examined. The authors distinguish three distinct patterns of performance in countries’ approaches to in-work poverty among single parents: a balanced approach of ensuring low inequality on the labor market combined with redistribution; an unbalanced approach of combating in-work poverty mostly through redistribution; and an approach in which high inequality on the labor market is compensated with redistributive policies to only a very limited extent. Countries that rely on a balanced approach to reduce inequality in the labor market, with respect to both class and gender, combined with an adequate level of redistribution, seem best situated for a durable reduction of poverty among working single parents.
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Science 360 (6396), 1411-1411Article
The health penalty of single parents in institutional context
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Anne Grete Tøge, Joakim Palme. The triple bind of single-parent families, 311-334Chapter
The triple bind of single-parent families: resources, employment and policies
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Laurie C. Maldonado. The triple bind of single-parent families, 1-27Chapter
The triple bind of single-parent families: Resources, employment and policies to improve wellbeing
2018. .Book (ed)
This edited collection examines the risks and issues faced by single parent-families and their children such as poverty, wealth/asset accumulation, health, well-being and combinative development, bringing together scholars from diverse social science backgrounds, including sociology, economics, political science, and social work. This book is the first collection of studies to examine previously neglected social policies related to single-parent families and provides innovative outcomes that will improve the lives and well-being of single parents and their children.
Work-life balance in times of recession, austerity and beyond
2018. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ellen Ernst Kossek. Community, Work and Family 21 (1), 106-109Article
A novel method for modelling interaction between categorical variables
2017. Manfred te Grotenhuis (et al.). International Journal of Social Welfare 62 (3), 427-431Article
Comparative Research with Net and Gross Income Data: An Evaluation of Two Netting Down Procedures for the LIS Database
2017. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Teresa Munzi, Janet C. Gornick. The Review of Income and Wealth 63 (3), 564-573Article
Researchers seeking to perform country-comparative and trend analyses using income data have to account for the fact that income surveys differ in whether income is measured gross or net of taxes and contributions. We discuss, develop, and evaluate two ‘netting down procedures’ for data in the LIS Database. Evaluations of these netting down procedures indicate that comparisons across gross and net datasets can be greatly improved when netting down procedures are applied. In several cases, however, substantial amounts of bias remain.
2017. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Wim Van Lancker. Oxford BibliographiesChapter
Gender equality and poverty are intrinsically linked
2017. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Inequality Matters: LIS Newsletter (4), 4-6Article
Is there such a thing as too long childcare leave?
2017. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ariana Need, Henk Van der Kolk. International journal of sociology and social policy 37 (1-2), 2-15Article
The purpose of this paper is to revisit the question whether women’s employment is negatively affected in countries with very long periods of childcare leave.
The authors analyzed data on 192,484 individual women, 305 country-years, and 18-countries, combined with country-level data on childcare, unemployment and service sector size.
The authors found that in countries with short periods of childcare leave the motherhood-employment gap is smaller than in countries with no childcare leave, while in countries with long periods of childcare leave the motherhood-employment gap is bigger than with short periods of leave.
The authors argued that to correctly answer the long-leave question – the relationship between duration of leave and employment of women should be explicitly hypothesized as being curvilinear; and childcare leave should be expected to affect only mothers, not women without children; testing the long-leave hypothesis requires the use of country-comparative data in which countries are observed repeatedly over time; and is best tested against person-level data.
Weighted Effect Coding for Observational Data with wec
2017. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Manfred te Grotenhuis, Ben Pelzer. The R Journal 9 (1), 477-485Article
Weighted effect coding refers to a specific coding matrix to include factor variables in generalised linear regression models. With weighted effect coding, the effect for each category represents the deviation of that category from the weighted mean (which corresponds to the sample mean). This technique has particularly attractive properties when analysing observational data, that commonly are unbalanced. The wec package is introduced, that provides functions to apply weighted effect coding to factor variables, and to interactions between (a.) a factor variable and a continuous variable and between (b.) two factor variables.
When size matters: advantages of weighted effect coding in observational studies
2017. Manfred te Grotenhuis (et al.). International Journal of Public Health 62 (1), 163-167Article
Women's earnings and household inequality in OECD countries, 1973-2013
2017. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Henk van der Kolk, Ariana Need. Acta Sociologica 60 (1), 3-20Article
This article shows that women's rising earnings contributed to reducing inequality in household earnings, with respect to couples. We use data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) on 1,148,762 coupled households, covering 18 OECD countries and the period from 1973 to 2013. In this period, women's share of household earnings grew, spouses' earnings became more strongly and positively correlated in various countries, and inequality in women's earnings was reduced. Inequality in household earnings increased due to the rising correlation between spouses' earnings, but was reduced more by the decline of inequality in women's earnings. Had women's earnings remained unchanged since the 1970s and 1980s, inequality in household earnings would have been higher around 2010 in all observed OECD countries. Household inequality was reduced least by trends in women's earnings in countries with a long history of high female labor-force participation, such as Finland (3% reduction) and Sweden (5%), and most in countries that observed a stronger increase in female labor-force participation in recent decades such as Spain (31%) and the Netherlands (41%). As more countries are reaching a plateau in the growth of women's employment and earnings, the potential for further stimulating women's employment and earnings to counter both women's and household inequality seems to be increasingly limited.
Measures of success Reply
2016. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Science 352 (6281), 30-30Article
Association, aggregation, and paradoxes: on the positive correlation between fertility and women’s employment
2015. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Demographic Research 32 (23), 1-5Article
Family policies and single parent poverty in 18 OECD countries, 1978–2008
2015. Laurie C. Maldonado, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Community, Work and Family 18 (4), 395-415Article
This study examined to what extent family policies differently affect poverty among single-parent households and two-parent households. We distinguished between reconciliation policies (tested with parental leave and the proportion of unpaid leave) and financial support policies (tested with family allowances). We used data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database, covering 519,825 households in 18 OECD countries from 1978 to 2008, combined with data from the Comparative Family Policy Database. Single parents face higher poverty risks than coupled parents, and single mothers more so than single fathers. We found that employment reduces poverty, particularly for parents in professional occupations and for coupled parents who are dual earners. Longer parental leave, a smaller proportion of unpaid leave, and higher amounts of family allowances were associated with lower poverty among all households with children. Parental leave more effectively facilitated the employment of single mothers, thereby reducing their poverty more than among couples and single fathers. We found some evidence that family allowances reduced poverty most strongly among single fathers. An income decomposition showed that family allowances reduce poverty among two-parent households with up to 3 percentage points, and among single-parent households (mothers and fathers) up to 13 percentage points.
Prepare versus Repair? Combining Parental Leave and Family Allowances for Social Investment Against Single-Parent Poverty
2015. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Laurie C. Maldonado. Belgisch tijdschrift voor Sociale Zekerheid (1), 115-123Article
Single-parent family poverty in 24 OECD countries: a focus on market and redistribution strategies
2015. Laurie C. Maldonado, Rense Nieuwenhuis.Report
Women’s working hours: The interplay between gender role attitudes, motherhood, and public childcare support in 23 European countries
2015. Wouter Andringa, Rense Nieuwenhuis, Minna Van Gerven. International journal of sociology and social policy 35 (9/10), 582-599Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to show how the interplay between individual women’s gender role attitudes, having young children at home, as well as the country-context characterized by gender egalitarianism and public childcare support, relates to women’s working hours in 23 European countries. Design/methodology/approach – This study presents results of multilevel regression analyses of data from the European Social Survey (Round 2). These micro-level data on 23 European countries were combined with country-level measures on gender traditionalism and childcare expenditure. Findings – The authors found that the negative association between having young children at home and women’s working hours is stronger for women with traditional gender role attitudes compared to women with egalitarian attitudes. The gap in working hours between women with and without young children at home was smaller in countries in which the population holds egalitarian gender role attitudes and in countries with extensive public childcare support. Furthermore, it was found that the gap in employment hours between mothers with traditional or egalitarian attitudes was largest in countries with limited public childcare support. Social implications – Policy makers should take note that women’s employment decisions are not dependent on human capital and household-composition factors alone, but that gender role attitudes matter as well. The authors could not find evidence of the inequality in employment between women with different gender role attitudes being exacerbated in association with childcare support. Originality/value – The originality of this study lies in the combined (rather than separate) analysis of how countries’ social policies (childcare services) and countries’ attitudes (gender traditionalism) interact with individual gender role attitudes to shape cross-national variation in women’s working hours.
Family Policies and single Parent Poverty in 18 OECD Countries, 1978-2008
2014. L.C Maldonado, Rense Nieuwenhuis.Report
Kinderbijslag houdt vrouwen van het werk
2014. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Tijdschrift voor Sociale Vraagstukken (feb 13)Article
Family policies, women’s earnings, and between-household inequality: trends in 18 OECD countries from 1981 to 2005
2013. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ariana Need, Henk Van der Kolk.Report
Netting down gross earnings data in the LIS database: an evaluation of two procedures
2013. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Teresa Munzi, Janet C. Gornick.Report
LIS researchers who seek to perform country-comparative and / or trend analyses have to account for the fact that in some LIS datasets income variables were reported net of taxes and social security contributions, while in other datasets income variables were reported gross of taxes and social security contributions. In this technical paper we discuss, develop, and evaluate two `netting down procedures' that help reduce bias that would be introduced by directly comparing net and gross datasets. Results of evaluating the performance of these netting down procedures indicate that the validity of the comparison of net and gross datasets can be greatly improved when netting down procedures are applied. In several cases, however, substantial amounts of bias remain.
Women and Society: The Road to Change
2013. Rense Nieuwenhuis. Sociological research online 18 (3)Article
Where to from here? Social policy research in future European societies
2022. Mara Yerkes, Kenneth Nelson, Rense Nieuwenhuis. Social Policy in Changing European Societies Edited, 294-302Chapter
In this concluding chapter, we reflect on future research about social policy in Europe. We note three key developments in research about social policy before outlining where how future research should be directed. We note the need for research to broaden the view on social policy once again, the need for greater theoretical development to ensure a robust future of research on social policy, and the need to further strengthen and exploit the multidisciplinary nature of our research community, as highlighted by the chapters in the book. European welfare states will continue to face unforeseen, far-reaching challenges in the next decades that are difficult to predict today. However, this book shows that social policy research is well positioned to address these challenges, informing policymakers and the public about the immediate problems at hand, bringing clarity about which policies work and for whom, and what alternative policy solutions may be available.
Women’s earnings: trends in earnings inequality within and between coupled households in 18 OECD countries, 1981-2005
2013. Rense Nieuwenhuis, Ariana Need, Henk Van der Kolk.Report
Show all publications by Rense Nieuwenhuis at Stockholm University