Is the “neighbour’s” lawn greener? Comparing family support in Lithuania and four other NMS

Publication type

EUROMOD Working Paper Series

Series Number



EUROMOD Working Paper Series


Publication date

December 19, 2011


To what extent can a
country’s effectiveness in reducing child poverty be attributed to the size of
family cash transfers (i.e. both benefits and tax advantages) or to their
design? In this paper, we disentangle the importance of each of these two
factors, focusing on the family support system in Lithuania and comparing it
with four other new member states. Both single and large families have
increased susceptibility to poverty in Lithuania. This contrasts with other
former communist countries, namely Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech
Republic which protect these family types much better. This paper examines
whether their family transfer systems would achieve similar results in
Lithuania. We employ the EUROMOD microsimulation tax-benefit model to swap
family policies across countries and to test whether size or design has greater
effects on child poverty reduction in Lithuania. Our results point to
considerably improving poverty situation among large families under Hungarian,
Slovenian and the Czech policies. Single parent families would only gain if
Lithuanian spending on family transfers would increase by a large degree.
Estonian policies would lead to very mixed results: small gains for large
families and losses for single parent families

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