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Child Care and Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries: A Model to Aspire to?

Author

Listed:
  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    (Aarhus University)

  • Verner, Mette

    (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

Abstract

The Nordic countries have remarkably high participation rates of mothers and a moderate decrease of fertility rates compared to other western countries. This has been attributed to the fact that the welfare state model and, especially, the family friendly policies chosen in the Nordic countries are unique. The availability of generous parental leave schemes including high compensation rates makes it possible for mothers to take a considerable time out of work in connection with childbirths and to return to their previous jobs afterwards, thanks to the high provision of public daycare. In this paper we evaluate family-friendly policies in the 'Nordic model' with respect to the two modes of child care i.e. either parental care facilitated by maternal and parental leave schemes or non-parental publicly provided care. Our questions for discussion are: Is there a 'Nordic model', and is it worth the cost if effects on child development and welfare are included? Is there a trade-off between family-friendly policies and family welfare, and are there serious negative boomerang effects of family-friendly policies on women’s position in the labor market? Is the 'Nordic model' a model to aspire to?

Suggested Citation

  • 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alison L. Booth, 2006. "The Glass Ceiling in Europe: Why Are Women Doing Badly in the Labour Market?," CEPR Discussion Papers 542, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    2. Alejandro Ortega Hortelano & Monica Grosso & Gary Haq & Anastasios Tsakalidis, 2021. "Women in Transport Research and Innovation: A European Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(12), pages 1-18, June.
    3. Karimi, Arizo & Lindahl, Erica & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2012. "Labour Supply Responses to Paid Parental Leave," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Yuko Kinoshita & Fang Guo, 2015. "What Can Boost Female Labor Force Participation in Asia?," IMF Working Papers 2015/056, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Sonia Bhalotra & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson & Nina Schwarz, 2022. "Infant Health, Cognitive Performance, and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1138-1156, November.
    6. Molly Mayer & Céline Le Bourdais, 2019. "Sharing Parental Leave Among Dual-Earner Couples in Canada: Does Reserved Paternity Leave Make a Difference?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 38(2), pages 215-239, April.
    7. Don Drummond & Evan Capeluck & Matthew Calver, 2015. "The Key Challenge for Canadian Public Policy: Generating Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth," CSLS Research Reports 2015-11, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    8. Miriam Wüst, 2015. "Maternal Employment During Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes: Evidence From Danish Siblings," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 711-725, June.
    9. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: a European perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages 147-171, April.
    10. Danijel Nestic, 2007. "Differing Characteristics or Differing Rewards: What is Behind the Gender Wage Gap in Croatia?," Working Papers 0704, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    11. Booth, Alison L., 2009. "Gender and competition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 599-606, December.
    12. Inés Hardoy & Pål Schøne, 2015. "Enticing even higher female labor supply: the impact of cheaper day care," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 815-836, December.
    13. KINOSHITA Yuko & GUO Fang, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation in Asia: Lessons from the Nordics," Discussion papers 15102, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    14. Federico Podestà, 2014. "The Impact of the 'Free Choice' Work/Family Reforms of France and Belgium. A Synthetic Control Analysis," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2014-06, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    15. Jussi Simpura, 2013. "“Così è (se vi pare)”: Remarks on Subjective Well-Being from a Resource-Based Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 45-58, October.
    16. 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.
    17. Filgueira, Fernando & Rossel, Cecilia, 2017. "Confronting inequality: Social protection for families and early childhood through monetary transfers and care worldwide," Políticas Sociales 43158, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    18. Gillian Paull, 2014. "Can Government Intervention in Childcare be Justified?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 14-34, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public expenditures; family friendly policies; fertility; labour supply; gender wage gap;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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