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Tyler Cowen’s European Vacation

Discussing the contrasting vacation models of the United States (little vacation) and Europe (lots of vacation), Tyler Cowen sees a tight link to family size with the European approach fitting well with smaller families. Maybe so, but I have some doubts that there’s an actual causal relationship here. There’s quite a lot of variation between OECD countries in terms of paid leave policies. This is the mandatory number of paid vacation days in different countries (the United States is zero):

Leading the pack are Finland, France, Norway, and Sweden all of whom have birth rates that exceed the European Union average. In general, if you compare the United States to Europe you see a more statist economic model on the other side of the Atlantic going with lower birthrates. But if you look within Europe you see more statist economic models going along side the higher birthrates in France and northern Europe, while the relative-less-statist economies of southern and eastern Europe are associated with very low birthrates.

Personally, I’m more a fan of policies to introduce paid family leave than to mandate paid vacations (as I’ve said before, there’s really no such thing as a paid vacation).

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