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Career Interruptions due to Parental Leave - A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden

  • Pylkkänen, Elina

    ()

    (University of Göteborg and the Ministry of Finance,)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Parental leave mandates are associated with high female employment rates, but with reductions in relative female wages if leave is of extended duration. We analyze the impact of family policies (parental leave and childcare prices) 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. Our analysis takes advantage of the availability of comparable longitudinal data and allows us to estimate parallel models across the two countries. The impact of family policies and economic incentives on the probability of returning to the labor market is estimated using a duration model approach. Our results show that economic incentives affect the behavior of mothers in both countries. However, the parental leave mandates as such are very important determinants for the observed behavior. Based on policy simulations we find that if fathers were given more parental leave, it would promote the labor supply of women.

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File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/04-1_nina.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04-1.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 26 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2004_001
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx

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  1. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  2. Siv S. Gustafsson & Shirley Dex & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 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 223-246.
  3. 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.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 609-29, November.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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