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The Impact of Family-Friendly Policies in Denmark and Sweden on Mothers' Career Interruptions Due to Childbirth

  • Pylkkänen, Elina

    ()

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

We analyze the impact of family-friendly policies on women's career breaks due to childbirth in Denmark and Sweden. In both countries, the labour force attachment of mothers is high, and more than 90% of the women return to work after childbirth. Sweden and Denmark are culturally similar and share the same type of welfare state ideology, but differ remarkably in pursued family policies. The impact of family policy variables on the probability of returning to the labour market is estimated using a duration model approach. Our results show that economic incentives and leave periods of the fathers affect the behaviour of mothers in both countries. However, family policy instruments are found to have a much larger impact on Swedish mothers' behaviour compared to Danish women. We explain this finding by the fact that family-friendly policies in Sweden have focused much more on flexible leave schemes and on the shared responsibilities of the parents than in Denmark.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1050.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1050
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  1. Gubta, Nabanita Datta & Smith, Nina, 2000. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," CLS Working Papers 00-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
  2. 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.
  3. Marit RÃnsen & Marianne SundstrÃm, 1996. "Maternal employment in Scandinavia: A comparison of the after-birth employment activity of Norwegian and Swedish women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:41-74 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. repec:iza:izadps:dp21 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Ronsen, Marit & Sundstrom, Marianne, 1996. "Maternal Employment in Scandinavia: A Comparison of the After-Birth Employment Activity of Norwegian and Swedish Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-85, August.
  10. Callan, T. & Dex, S. & Smith, N. & Vlasblom, J.D., 1999. "Taxation of Spouses: a Cross-Country Study of the Effects on Maaried Women's Labour Supply," Papers 99-02, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences Of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons From Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
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