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The Impact of Family-Friendly Policies in Denmark and Sweden on Mothers' Career Interruptions Due to Childbirth

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Author Info

  • Pylkkänen, Elina

    ()
    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

Abstract

We analyze the impact of family-friendly policies on women's career breaks due to childbirth in Denmark and Sweden. In both countries, the labour force attachment of mothers is high, and more than 90% of the women return to work after childbirth. Sweden and Denmark are culturally similar and share the same type of welfare state ideology, but differ remarkably in pursued family policies. The impact of family policy variables on the probability of returning to the labour market is estimated using a duration model approach. Our results show that economic incentives and leave periods of the fathers affect the behaviour of mothers in both countries. However, family policy instruments are found to have a much larger impact on Swedish mothers' behaviour compared to Danish women. We explain this finding by the fact that family-friendly policies in Sweden have focused much more on flexible leave schemes and on the shared responsibilities of the parents than in Denmark.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1050.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1050

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Keywords: paternal leave; maternal leave; family-friendly policy; childcare;

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References

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  1. Gupta, N.D. & Smith, N., 2000. "Children and Career Interruptions: the Family Gap in Denmark," Papers, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark- 00-03, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  2. Gustafsson, Siv S, et al, 1996. "Women's Labor Force Transitions in Connection with Childbirth: A Panel Data Comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 223-46, August.
  3. Callan, T. & Dex, S. & Smith, N. & Vlasblom, J.D., 1999. "Taxation of Spouses: a Cross-Country Study of the Effects on Maaried Women's Labour Supply," Papers, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark- 99-02, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  4. Marit RÃnsen & Marianne SundstrÃm, 1996. "Maternal employment in Scandinavia: A comparison of the after-birth employment activity of Norwegian and Swedish women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285.
  5. Jan Ondrich & C. Spiess & Qing Yang & Gert Wagner, 2003. "The Liberalization of Maternity Leave Policy and the Return to Work after Childbirth in Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 77-110, January.
  6. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:41-74 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. repec:iza:izadps:dp21 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
  9. Klerman, Jacob Alex & Leibowitz, Arleen, 1990. "Child Care and Women's Return to Work after Childbirth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 284-88, May.
  10. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ronsen, Marit & Sundstrom, Marianne, 1996. "Maternal Employment in Scandinavia: A Comparison of the After-Birth Employment Activity of Norwegian and Swedish Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-85, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zhelyazkova, Nevena, 2013. "Parental leave within the broader work-family trajectory: What can we learn from sequence analysis?," MERIT Working Papers 049, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Kim, Ji Sung & Faerman, Sue R., 2013. "Exploring the relationship between culture and family-friendly programs (FFPs) in the Republic of Korea," European Management Journal, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 505-521.
  3. Geyer, Johannes & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers’ Employment and Working Hours Across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," IZA Discussion Papers 2693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Irene Lapuerta & Pau Baizán & María González, 2011. "Individual and Institutional Constraints: An Analysis of Parental Leave Use and Duration in Spain," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 185-210, April.
  5. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2004. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ann-Sofie Kolm & Edward P. Lazear, 2010. "Policies Affecting Work Patterns and Labor Income for Women," NBER Chapters, in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 57-81 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Pia S. Schober, 2012. "Parental Leave Policies and Child Care Time in Couples after Childbirth," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 434, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00384510 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 4300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a ”True Natural Experiment”," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina & Verner, Mette, 2006. "Child Care and Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries: A Model to Aspire to?," IZA Discussion Papers 2014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Rafael Lalive & Analía Schlosser & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits," NRN working papers 2011-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  13. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Mette Verner, 2008. "PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE: The impact of Nordic countries’ family friendly policies on employment, wages, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, March.

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