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Child Care and Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries: A Model to Aspire to?

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Author Info

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Verner, Mette

    ()
    (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

Abstract

The Nordic countries have remarkably high participation rates of mothers and a moderate decrease of fertility rates compared to other western countries. This has been attributed to the fact that the welfare state model and, especially, the family friendly policies chosen in the Nordic countries are unique. The availability of generous parental leave schemes including high compensation rates makes it possible for mothers to take a considerable time out of work in connection with childbirths and to return to their previous jobs afterwards, thanks to the high provision of public daycare. In this paper we evaluate family-friendly policies in the 'Nordic model' with respect to the two modes of child care i.e. either parental care facilitated by maternal and parental leave schemes or non-parental publicly provided care. Our questions for discussion are: Is there a 'Nordic model', and is it worth the cost if effects on child development and welfare are included? Is there a trade-off between family-friendly policies and family welfare, and are there serious negative boomerang effects of family-friendly policies on women’s position in the labor market? Is the 'Nordic model' a model to aspire to?

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2014.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2008, 6 (1), 65-89
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2014

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Keywords: public expenditures; family friendly policies; fertility; labour supply; gender wage gap;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alison L. Booth, 2009. "Gender and Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 611, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Danijel Nestic, 2007. "Differing Characteristics or Differing Rewards: What is Behind the Gender Wage Gap in Croatia?," Working Papers 0704, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
  3. Karimi, Arizo & Lindahl, Erica & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2012. "Labour Supply Responses to Paid Parental Leave," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jussi Simpura, 2013. "“Così è (se vi pare)”: Remarks on Subjective Well-Being from a Resource-Based Perspective," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 45-58, October.
  5. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2008. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: A European perspective," Working Papers 011, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  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.

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