Doing Better for Children

image of Doing Better for Children
Drawing on a wide range of data sources, this publication constructs and analyses different indicators of child well-being across the OECD. These indicators cover six key areas: material well‑being; housing and environment; education; health and safety; risk behaviours; and quality of school life. They show that no one OECD country performs well in all areas and that every OECD country can do more to improve children’s lives.

How much countries are spending on children and when is also closely considered, the first time such a comparative exercise has been undertaken across the OECD. Additional chapters offer detailed examinations of countries’ policies for children under age three, the impact of single parenthood on children and the effect of inequalities across generations. The publication concludes with broad policy recommendations for improving child well-being.

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Childhood and Inter-generational Mobility

This chapter looks at how parents’ outcomes and those of their children are related, with a focus on earnings and education. Almost all measures of adult well-being – health status, earnings and income, education, intelligence, behaviour, personality, and occupation – share a degree of persistence between family generations. Childhood is the time when family and government investments most influence the extent to which the future adult trajectories of children mirror those of their parents and the extent to which inequalities persist between generations. The chapter begins by setting the context, and then considers the extent of inter-generational earnings and education inequality in different countries and whether they have been changing over time. The causes of inter-generational inequality are then considered before addressing the policy issue of the illusive optimal level of inter-generational inequality.

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