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The Impact of Social Welfare Policies on Self-Initiative and Family Structure: The Case of Poland

Amy C. Butler
Social Service Review
Vol. 69, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), pp. 1-30
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30012552
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Impact of Social Welfare Policies on Self-Initiative and Family Structure: The Case of Poland
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Abstract

Over the past several decades, Polish social welfare policy (broadly defined) has developed into a comprehensive system, creating the potential for unintended negative consequences as well as the intended benefits. This article examines the extent to which the Polish experience is consistent with controversial hypotheses concerning the impact of social welfare policies on individual initiative and family structure. The abrupt changes currently taking place in Poland during the transition to a market economy provide an opportunity for us to observe the extent to which previous state policies have reduced individual initiative. Trends in divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing are examined for evidence of weakening family structure.

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