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Career Interruptions Due to Parental Leave: A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden

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  • Elina Pylkkänen
  • Nina Smith

Abstract

Parental leave mandates are associated with high female employment rates, but with reductions in relative female wages if leave is of extended durations. If fathers were given longer periods of leave, would it shorten the career breaks of women? We analyze the impact of family policies of Denmark and Sweden on women’s career breaks due to childbirth. These countries are culturally similar and share the same type of welfare state ideology, but differ remarkably in pursued family policies. Compared to Denmark, leave provisions in Sweden are more generous in terms of both duration and payment rates, and allow for flexible use until the child is 8 years old. In both countries childcare coverage rates are high, but very young (age 0-2) Danish children are more likely to be in day-care than in Sweden. This setting provides us with a fruitful point of departure to analyze explicitly the effects of different family policy regimes on job retention of Danish and Swedish mothers. Our ... Le dispositif de congé parental est associé à des taux d'emploi féminin élevés mais l’est aussi à une réduction des salaires relatifs des femmes si les congés sont de longue durée. Si les congés accordés aux pères étaient plus longs, les interruptions de carrière des femmes seraient-elles plus courtes ? Nous analysons l'incidence de la politique de la famille au Danemark et en Suède sur les interruptions de carrière des femmes après une naissance. Ces deux pays ont une culture analogue et adhèrent au même type d'idéologie en matière de protection sociale mais ils se différencient de façon remarquable dans la mise en œuvre de leur politique familiale respective. En ce qui concerne les congés, en comparaison avec le Danemark les provisions en Suède sont plus généreuses, aussi bien dans leur durée qu'au niveau des taux de paiement et un usage plus souple est permis jusqu'à ce que l'enfant ait atteint l'âge de huit ans. Dans les deux pays, les taux de garde pour les enfants sont ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 1.

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Date of creation: 13 Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:1-en

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  1. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gupta, N.D. & Smith, N., 2000. "Children and Career Interruptions: the Family Gap in Denmark," Papers 00-03, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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.
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Cited by:
  1. Kristin Kleinjans, 2008. "Do Gender Differences in Preferences for Competition Matter for Occupational Expectations?," Economics Working Papers 2008-09, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Anna Matysiak & Dorota Wêziak-Bia³owolska, 2013. "Country-Specific Conditions for Work and Family Reconciliation: An Attempt at Quantification," Working Papers 67, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
  3. Karimi, Arizo & Lindahl, Erica & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2012. "Labour supply responses to paid parental leave," Working Paper Series 2012:22, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta & Chiara Pronzato, 2012. "On the local labor market determinants of female university enrolment in European regions," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 278, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  5. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2010. "Assessing the impact of education and marriage on labor market exit decisions of women," Working Paper 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Magdalena M. Muszynska, 2004. "Employment after childbearing: a comparative study of Italy and Norway," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-030, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  7. Marit Rønsen & Ragni Hege Kitterød, 2012. "Entry into work following childbirth among mothers in Norway. Recent trends and variation," Discussion Papers 702, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  8. Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter & Spieß, C. Katharina & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2013. "Das Elterngeld und seine Wirkungen auf das Haushaltseinkommen junger Familien und die Erwerbstätigkeit von Müttern," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 193-211.
  9. C. Katharina Spieß, 2011. "Vereinbarkeit von Familie und Beruf – wie wirksam sind deutsche „Care Policies“?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(s1), pages 4-27, 05.
  10. Blome, Agnes, 2011. "Work/care policies in European welfare states: Continuing variety or change towards a common model?," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship Demographic Development, Social Change, and Social Capital SP I 2011-401, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  11. Spiess, C.Katharina & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2008. "The Parental Leave Benefit Reform in Germany: Costs and Labour Market Outcomes of Moving towards the Nordic Model," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 575-591.
  12. Marianne Simonsen, 2005. "Availability and Price of High Quality Day Care and Female Employment," Economics Working Papers 2005-08, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  13. Julia Bredtmann & Jochen Kluve & Sandra Schaffner, 2009. "Women's Fertility and Employment Decisions under Two Political Systems - Comparing East and West Germany before Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 0149, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  14. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2011. "To work or not to work: the economics of a mother's dilemma," Working Paper 2011-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2009. "Causes and Consequences of a Father's Child Leave: Evidence from a Reform of Leave Schemes," IZA Discussion Papers 4267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. C. Katharina Spieß & Katharina Wrohlich, 2006. "The Parental Leave Benefit Reform in Germany: Costs and Labour Market Outcomes of Moving towards the Scandinavian Model," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 630, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. Julie Hotchkiss & M. Pitts & Mary Walker, 2011. "Labor force exit decisions of new mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 397-414, September.
  18. Hong, Ying & Corman, Diana, 2005. "Women´s Return to Work after First Birth in Sweden during 1980-2000," Arbetsrapport 2005:19, Institute for Futures Studies.
  19. Joanna Osiñska, 2013. "Postawy wzglêdem euro i ich determinanty– przegl¹d badañ i literatury przedmiotu," Working Papers 70, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.

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