Swedish parental leave and gender equality - Achievements and reform challenges in a European perspective
Sweden was the first country to introduce paid parental leave also to fathers in 1974, and this legislation has since then continuously been reformed in order to bring about a more equal parenthood. This study sets out to discuss the Swedish parental leave system and identify achievements, policy dilemmas and reform alternatives in a European perspective. The structure of parental insurance legislation, with earnings-related benefits and a long leave period, is often seen as a main explanation why Sweden has been able to combine relatively high fertility levels with high female labour force participation rates and low child poverty. In the perspective of changing demographic structures in Europe, with declining fertility levels and a growing number of elderly, the strengthening of dual earner family policies, including parental insurance legislation, may mitigate macro-economic and demographic problems by increasing gender equality and decreasing the work-family conflict. Despite the positive consequences, unresolved questions exist in the present parental leave legislation. The flexibility of the Swedish system, which still has extensive transferable leave rights, has the consequence that the lion’s share of parental leave days is still taken by mothers, among other things making it difficult for women to compete on equal terms with men in the labour market. Consequently, the gender-based division of parental leave may contribute to a preservation of traditional gender roles and inequalities. Another problem in the Swedish system is the work requirement for eligibility that excludes students and others with weak labour market attachment from the earnings-related benefits, possibly inflicting on the postponement of parenthood. Raising the minimum benefit could be one solution to enable childbearing among persons with weak labour market attachment, but this would also affect the economic incentives for paid work, and thus weaken the dual earner model.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||ISSN 1652-120X ISBN 91-89655-69-9|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden|
Phone: 08-402 12 00
Fax: 08-24 50 14
Web page: http://www.framtidsstudier.se
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998.
"The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001.
"Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2002. "On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-052, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Wasmer, Etienne, 2002.
"Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences: the specificity of human capital investments,"
2003:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences : the specificity of human capital investments," Post-Print hal-01021294, HAL.
- Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "Interpreting Europe and US labor markets differences : the specificity of human capital investments," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8904, Sciences Po.
- Wasmer, Etienne, 2002. "Interpreting Europe and US Labor Markets Differences: The Specificity of Human Capital Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 549, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ranehill, Eva, 2002. "Social snedrekrytering till högre studier - En litteraturöversikt," Arbetsrapport 2002:10, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Barnekow, Erik, 2002. "Demografi och finansmarknad - en översikt av empirisk forskning," Arbetsrapport 2002:7, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter, 2001. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," Arbetsrapport 2001:1, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003.
"Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden,"
2003:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Dahlberg, Susanne & Nahum, Ruth-Aïda, 2003. "Cohort Effects on Earnings Profiles: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2003:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- S. Philip Morgan, 2003. "Is low fertility a twenty-first-century demographic crisis?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 589-603, November.
- Sommestad, Lena, 2001. "Health and Wealth: The Contribution of Welfare State Policies to Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2001:3, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Lindh, Thomas & Malmberg, Bo, 2002. "Swedish post-war economic development. The role of age structure in a welfare state," Arbetsrapport 2003:4, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Malmberg, Bo & Sommestad, Lena, 2000. "Tunga trender i den globala utvecklingen," Arbetsrapport 2000:2, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2002. "Pathways to Retirement and Retirement Incentives in Sweden," Arbetsrapport 2002:9, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
- Malmberg, Bo & Lindh, Thomas, 2004. "Forecasting global growth by age structure projections," Arbetsrapport 2004:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Andersson, Jenny, 2002. "Alva´s Futures Ideas in the construction of Swedish Futures Studies," Arbetsrapport 2002:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2005_011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Erika Karlsson)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.