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

Author

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  • Pylkkänen, Elina

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Smith, Nina

    () (Aarhus University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pylkkänen, Elina & Smith, Nina, 2004. "The Impact of Family-Friendly Policies in Denmark and Sweden on Mothers' Career Interruptions Due to Childbirth," IZA Discussion Papers 1050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1050
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 609-629, November.
    2. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285.
    3. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 284-288, May.
    7. Ondrich, Jan & Spieß, Katharina C. & Yang, Qing & Wagner, Gert G., 1998. "The Liberalisation of Maternity Leave Policy and the Return to the Work of Childbirth in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 21, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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-.
    9. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
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    11. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:41-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a �True Natural Experiment�," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Sami Napari, 2008. "The Early-career Gender Wage Gap among University Graduates in the Finnish Private Sector," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(4), pages 697-733, December.
    3. Zhelyazkova N., 2013. "Parental leave within the broader work‐family trajectory : What can we learn from sequence analysis?," MERIT Working Papers 049, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Rafael Lalive & Analía Schlosser & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2014. "Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 219-265.
    5. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 1613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Kim, Ji Sung & Faerman, Sue R., 2013. "Exploring the relationship between culture and family-friendly programs (FFPs) in the Republic of Korea," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 505-521.
    7. Johannes Geyer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers' Employment and Working Hours across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 682, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Mette Verner, 2008. "PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE: The impact of Nordic countries’ family friendly policies on employment, wages, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, March.
    9. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 163-186, January.
    10. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 599-606, December.
    11. Ann-Sofie Kolm & Edward P. Lazear, 2010. "Policies Affecting Work Patterns and Labor Income for Women," NBER Chapters,in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 57-81 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Irene Lapuerta & Pau Baizán & María González, 2011. "Individual and Institutional Constraints: An Analysis of Parental Leave Use and Duration in Spain," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(2), pages 185-210, April.
    13. Pia S. Schober, 2012. "Parental Leave Policies and Child Care Time in Couples after Childbirth," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 434, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    14. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina & Verner, Mette, 2006. "Child Care and Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries: A Model to Aspire to?," IZA Discussion Papers 2014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    paternal leave; maternal leave; family-friendly policy; childcare;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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