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The Ecology of ChildhoodHow Our Changing World Threatens Children's Rights$
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Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780814794845

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814794845.001.0001

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The Great Recession Crosses the Atlantic

The Great Recession Crosses the Atlantic

(p.151) 8 The Great Recession Crosses the Atlantic
The Ecology of Childhood

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

NYU Press

Chapter eight follows the economic crisis as it spreads to Europe. While the U.S. was only moderately affected, between 2008 and 2012 the worst hit European countries suffered spikes in child poverty greater than in any political or economic crisis since World War II. Children experienced declines in nutrition, life satisfaction, while levels of stress and the percentage of youth not in education employment or training (NEETs) rose dramatically. The chapter explains how the financial crisis flowed through the transmission channels of banking, labor markets and the public sector, flooding downstream to create household impact, in rising joblessness and unravelling safety nets, producing direct impact on children and youth. Unlike the U.S., Eurozone countries could not deploy monetary and fiscal policies that might have mitigated the impact on children. Instead, the EU imposed drastic austerity measures, forcing cuts in welfare and pensions and increases in taxes. A backlash followed in both the U.S. and Europe, fuelling nationalist movements like Trump’s America First, U.K.’s Brexit, and Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League. The continuing legacy of recession is captured in current statistics on five “childhood enders”—infant mortality, malnutrition, school leaving, violence and children having children.

Keywords:   Crisis, Europe, Italy, Backlash, Anti-immigrant, Austerity, Brexit, NEETs, childhood enders

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