Reduction of child poverty in Serbia

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Child poverty rates in Serbia are well above the average rates for the general population, and also much higher than ones found in other European countries. Previous research has argued that high poverty rates among children in Serbia are not only the consequence of the low spending on child benefits, but also a consequence of the poor design of major benefit programs. These studies offered several solutions, but FRENs project "Reduction of child poverty in Serbia: balancing between improved cash-transfers and policies that promote parental employment", financially supported by PEP* , would be the first one to empirically asses which reforms to the benefits design would have largest impact on improved targeting and coverage of the benefit programmes and thus lower poverty of families with children.

Additionally, bearing in mind the fact that all countries with very low child poverty rates combine effective social transfers with low levels of family joblessness, this project intends to assess the extent to which child poverty can be also reduced by policies which increase parental employment. The use of micro-simulation and labour supply modelling techniques will allow us to seek an appropriate balance between improved cash-transfer programs and work promoting policies. We expect these findings to be particularly relevant for the policy making process in the social, labour market and fiscal sphere in Serbia.

*Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) (www.pep-net.org) is financially supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (or UK Aid), and the Government of Canada through the International Development Research Center (IDRC).