E.U. & U.S. Public Policy Forum Social Development

On the Parsimoniousness of American Parental Leave Compared to Northern European Countries: An Extend Study on the Implications for Taiwan

Author:Lee-Joy Cheng, Research Fellow and Deputy Director

Release Date:2015/01/14

Origin of Topic
      In recent years, total fertility rates in many countries have declined, especially in Taiwan. Taiwan’s total fertility rate dropped to 0.895 in 2010, making it the world’s least fertile state. While the pressures associated with raising children are universal, parental leave policies and systematic supports differ from country to country. The Nordic countries offer the most generous parental leave, while America, despite being one of the most advanced industrial countries, offers far worse support. The reasons for the discrepancy are worthy of investigation, particular as many of Taiwan’s social welfare policies have been modeled on American counterparts. This essay offers an analysis of the reasons for the comparative parsimoniousness of American parental leave, and could provide useful references as Taiwan looks to improve parental leave and promote greater fertility. (......more)
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