German Family Policy and the Idea of “Wahlfreiheit”

At 3.1 percent of GDP, Germany spends far above the OECD average on family benefits, whereas the United States spends only 1.3 percent of its GDP on family benefits. However, differences in spending are not the only contrasts regarding family policy in Germany and the U.S., writes former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Dr. Isabelle Kürschner. They also differ significantly with respect to parental leave systems, maternal employment rates, and the number of children born in each country. Dr. Kürschner examines the distinctiveness of German family policy in this Transatlantic Perspectives essay.

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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.