Family Policy Reform Impact on Continued Fertility in the Nordic Countries

Ann-Zofie Duvander, Stockholm University
Mats Johansson, Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate

It has been argued that generous family policy aiming at a gender equal division of childcare and economic responsibility will have a positive impact on childbearing. In this study we ask whether different usages of parental leave are related to continued childbearing and whether there has been a policy effect on fertility behaviour from introducing the father’s quota in the Nordic countries. The major argument for why gender equality in parental leave use would increase fertility is that a more equal division in the household would ease women’s work burden at home and thus enhance the degree of compatibility between childrearing and female employment, thereby making it easier to realize childbearing plans. In order to distinguish causality in effects from selection we will use the natural experiment of the introduction of the father’s quotas in Norway and Sweden.

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Presented in Session 23: Comparative Perspectives on Family Policy and Outcomes