Interdisciplinary interplay between government programs, politics and demography as exemplified by the Polish family 500+ program: assumptions and first experiences


Purpose – In 2016 the Polish government launched the Family 500+ program. This family policy instrument is regarded as a unique but debatable measure. The paper assesses the program in terms of interdisciplinary relationships between public programs, politics, sociology and demography.
Research method – The research for the paper was carried out using a qualitative case study-based method. A critical analysis of the relevant legislation, public policy assumptions, reports, and earlier studies was performed. The data contained in the Demographic Yearbook of Poland [2018, 2019, 2020] published by Statistics Poland and simple methods of descriptive statistics were also used.
Results – The conclusions from the research are that while the program’s effect on the demographic situation in Poland is limited, it helps reduce poverty, supports families and politically benefits the ruling party. They also suggest that the current sociological, social, cultural, historical, and political factors have an essential influence on how this type of programs is received by voters and on their success.
Originality / value / implications / recommendations – The program has prevented the demographic gap in Poland from widening. A new study using simulation modelling will seek to determine whether it also reduces poverty among families with children. The program’s demographic effectiveness and its effect on the female labor market should be further studied in the future.

Article received on 30 May 2021, accepted on 26 July 2021.


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Article received on 30 May 2021, accepted on 26 July 2021.
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