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Family Policies and Fertility: Parents' Parental Leave Use, Childcare Availability, the Introduction of Childcare Cash Benefit and Continued Childbearing in Norway

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    Abstract

    We address the relationship between family policies and fertility in Norway, including three somewhat different policies: parental leave, formal childcare, and the childcare cash benefit. Norwegian family policy has been considered dualistic, giving priority to both dual-earner support and general family support. Our data are administrative register data covering the period 1995–2002. The analysis shows that policies that promote father involvement in childcare and gender equality are positively associated with timing of second births, while policies giving more general family support are positively associated with timing of third births. The so-called "double-tracked" family policy seems to apply to different couples in a positive matter. An important insight of this paper is that both policies designed to improve reconciliation of work and family, and policies designed to improve childcare choices for parents, are indeed popular; however, in terms of fertility outcomes, there is wide heterogeneity in how they respond to the policies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 564.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:564

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    Keywords: fertility; family policy; parental leave; formal childcare; the childcare cash benefit;

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    1. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
    2. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2006. "The Mismatch between Employment and Child Care in Italy: the Impact of Rationing," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 31, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    3. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
    5. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Gerda R. Neyer, 2003. "Family policies and low fertility in Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Øystein Kravdal, 2008. "Does income inequality really influence individual mortality?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(7), pages 205-232, April.
    8. Neyer, Gerda, 2003. "Family Policies and Low Fertility in Western Europe," Discussion Paper 161, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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