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Childcare and family ideology in Sweden


  • Sandra Krapf

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)


This study examines the impact of public and private childcare supply and family ideologies on individual childbearing behavior in Sweden. We assume that childcare services facilitate the reconciliation of family and paid work. However, this relationship is not independent from family images like "dual-earners" or the "male-breadwinner". Although differences in family ideologies are not very pronounced in an egalitarian society like Sweden, we expect that childcare provision encourages young adults to start a family especially if dual-earner families are well accepted. In the empirical part, we use logistic regressions to analyze the entry into parenthood. Based on the Swedish survey "Family and Working Life in the 21st Century" and regional data for the years 2001 to 2003, we find that the probability to become parents is low in regions with a high level of childcare provision. However, in regions where non-familial childcare is highly accepted and, simultaneously, the childcare supply is high individuals are more likely to have a first child. This finding shows the importance of attitudes towards family arrangements on fertility behavior and childcare usage.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandra Krapf, 2009. "Childcare and family ideology in Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-044, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-044

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eva Bernhardt & Frances Goldscheider, 2006. "Gender Equality, Parenthood Attitudes, and First Births in Sweden," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 4(1), pages 19-39.
    2. Pau Baizán, 2009. "Regional child care availability and fertility decisions in Spain," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(27), pages 803-842, December.
    3. Simon Duncan & Rosalind Edwards & Tracey Reynolds & Pam alldred, 2003. "Motherhood, Paid Work and Partnering: Values and Theories," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 17(2), pages 309-330, June.
    4. Livia Sz. Oláh & Eva Bernhardt, 2008. "Sweden: Combining childbearing and gender equality," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(28), pages 1105-1144, July.
    5. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    6. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    7. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
    8. Anders Björklund, 2006. "Does family policy affect fertility?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, February.
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    More about this item


    Sweden; child care;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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