How gender-sensitive is family policy in the cantons of Switzerland?


Project description (completed research project)

Policy making in the case of taxes and social transfer and its consequences for single parents and couples with children varies widely from canton to canton. Analyses show that, for many couples, splitting paid employment between them does not pay off financially. This is problematic not only for gender equality but also for economic policy.


The concept of evidence-based policy assumes that policy should benefit from systematically obtained, empirically based and argumentatively well-founded knowledge. This project examines whether evidence-based information was available to the cantonal policy makers for decisions in the tax and social transfer policy area, and what influence this information had on policy making. The study also focuses on factors that promoted or hindered evidence-based policy making.

As a starting point of the analysis, an inventory of relevant family policy decisions at the cantonal level is drawn up. Then it examines whether the policy making was based on evidence-based information and how differences among the cantons can be explained. Selected decision-making processes in six cantons are also investigated as case studies with the aim to compiling a detailed analysis of the effects.

Original title

Familienbildung und Arbeitsmarktpartizipation im Lichte von Sozialversicherungsreformen

Project leader(s)

  • Prof. Monika Bütler, Schweizerisches Institut für Empirische Wirtschaftsforschung (SEW-HSG), Universität St. Gallen
  • Prof. Franz Schultheis, Seminar für Soziologie (SfS-HSG), Universität St. Gallen
  • Thomas Mazzurana, SfS-HSG, Universität St. Gallen



Further information on this content


Prof. Monika Bütler Schweizerisches Institut für Empirische Wirtschaftsforschung (SEW-HSG)
Universität St. Gallen
Varnbüelstrasse 14 9000 St. Gallen +41 71 224 23 17

Products of the project