Panel: International Child Support Policy Research
(Social & Family Policy)

Saturday, November 10, 2012: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Salon D (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizers:  Dan Meyer, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Moderators:  Linda Mellgren, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Timothy Smeeding, Institute for Research on Poverty
Chairs:  James Kunz, McDaniel College

This panel explores child support policy issues in diverse countries. Because of increases in single-parent families and the economic vulnerability of these families, policy-makers in many countries are examining the expectations for the level of financial support noncustodial parents provide to their children. However, child support policies vary substantially across countries, with some countries guaranteeing child support, others using get-tough enforcement policies, and others leaving monitoring and enforcement up to individual initiative. The policy importance of the topic, combined with a variety of policy approaches, means that cross-national research can be potentially useful. The panel includes three papers, focusing on child support issues in Colombia, Finland, UK, and the US. The papers include different perspectives on questions such as: How much should we expect from noncustodial parents? What is the role of government in setting the context for these private transfers, in establishing the amount owed, and in monitoring and enforcing agreements? How is policy working? In addition to the three papers, the panel includes two discussants, one focusing on the research issues that are raised, and one on the policy lessons for the US. We anticipate discussion on whether the policy issues are similar or different in these different country contexts, and what can be learned from cross-national research in this area.

Child Maintenance Policies In Finland
Mia Hakovirta, University of Turku (Finland) and Heikki Hiilamo, Social Insurance Institution (Finland)

Nonresident Parents and State Provision: Child Support As Welfare Complement or Substitute?
Christine Skinner, University of York and Dan Meyer, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Child Support Debt: Tracing the Evolution of the Problem and Implications for Policy Solutions
Maria Cancian, University of Wisconsin - Madison and Dan Meyer, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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