Using a Highly Flexible Parental Leave: Distributive Patterns Where Parent, Length and Replacement Level Are Chosen

Helen Eriksson, Stockholm University

Although flexibility is often mentioned as a key feature of the Swedish parental leave system, focus of earlier studies on parental leave usage is almost exclusively on the sharing of leave. The flexibility however makes it necessary for parents to decide on what we will call a distributive pattern of parental leave that includes decisions also on length, timing and frequency of periods of both paid and unpaid days of each parent. We identify four dimensions in the decision: the total length dimension, the labor market dimension, the economic dimension, and the shared responsibilities dimension. Data include dated parental leave days taken for all children born in Sweden in the years 1994 to 2009. First, we identify different types of distributive patterns found in the data. Second, we investigate the determinants of each distributive pattern in the light of the different dimensions.

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Presented in Session 116: Policy, Children and Families