Article

The State Intervenes in the Battle of the Sexes: Causal Effects of Paternity Leave

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Abstract

Do family policies influence attitudes and behavior or are they merely reflections of pre-existing attitudes? We consider the implementation of the Norwegian daddy quota, 4 weeks of parental leave reserved for the father, as a natural experiment, and examine the long-run causal effects on attitudes toward gender equality, on conflicts and sharing of household labor, and on support for public childcare. We find that respondents who had their last born child just after the reform report an 11% lower level of conflicts over household division of labor and that they are 50% more likely to equally divide the task of washing clothes than respondents who had their last child just before the reform.Highlights► We consider the introduction of paternity leave in Norway as a natural experiment. ► We study the effects on attitudes, on conflicts and sharing of household labor. ► We find substantive effects on conflicts and on the task of washing clothes.

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... For example, paternity leave allows fathers to maintain their work commitments while also providing time after a birth for parents to learn how to manage family demands, presumably through encouraging greater fathering commitments (Petts and Knoester 2018;Rehel 2014). In doing so, paternity leave may help facilitate a more egalitarian division of labor, fathers' support of mothers, and greater relationship satisfaction (Almqvist and Duvander 2014;Bünning 2015;Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;Petts, Carlson, and Knoester 2020;Petts and Knoester 2019;Pragg and Knoester 2017), which may reduce the likelihood of relationship dissolution (Carlson, Hanson, and Fitzroy 2016;Carlson, Miller, and Sassler 2018;Schwartz and Gonalons-Pons 2016). Evidence from Nordic countries-and one study using U.S. data-also suggests that paternity leave-taking reduces the likelihood of relationship dissolution (Lappegård et al. 2019;Olah 2001;Petts, Carlson, and Knoester 2020;Viklund 2018). ...
... Indeed, fathers who take time off work after a child's birth, and especially fathers who take longer periods of time off, engage more with children than fathers who do not take time off work (Huerta et al. 2014;Petts and Knoester 2018;Pragg and Knoester 2017). Time off work is also associated with fathers' increased participation in housework and mothers' reports of more satisfying parental relationships (Almqvist and Duvander 2014;Bünning 2015;Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;Petts andKnoester 2019, 2020). Fathers' involvement in childcare, and more equitable sharing of domestic labor more generally, is positively associated with relationship satisfaction (Carlson, Hanson, and Fitzroy 2016;Hohmann-Marriott 2009;Kalmijn 1999;Keizer and Schenk 2012;McClain and Brown 2017). ...
... The above arguments suggest that fathers' time off work after a birth will reduce the likelihood of relationship dissolution at least in part because it may enable fathers to provide additional support to mothers. Indeed, mothers are more likely to view relationships with fathers favorably if fathers take time off work after a birth (Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;, and this is a key reason why paternity leave is believed to reduce the risk of relationship dissolution (Lappegård et al. 2019;Viklund 2018). Demonstrating support to mothers may be particularly beneficial for socioeconomically disadvantaged couples, as they are especially likely to care for their children themselves due to high childcare costs (Ciabattari 2007;Williams 2010). ...
Article
Relationship dissolution is common among socioeconomically disadvantaged parents. This study utilizes longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) to assess whether fathers’ time off work after the birth of a child reduces the likelihood of parents dissolving their relationship. We also consider whether the association between fathers’ time off work and relationship dissolution is mediated by fathers’ support of mothers and moderated by union type. Results indicate that the risk of relationship dissolution is lower when fathers take time off work after the birth of a child. Results also suggest that longer periods of time off work (i.e., two or more weeks) are associated with a lower risk of relationship dissolution among married couples, although overall evidence for variations by union type are mixed. Additionally, there is evidence that the association between fathers’ time off work and relationship dissolution is at least partially explained by higher levels of relationship support among fathers who took time off work after the birth of a child. Overall, findings suggest that providing fathers with opportunities to take time off for the birth of a child may help to promote relationship stability among socioeconomically disadvantaged couples in the United States.
... Studies examining fathers' outcomes find increases in fathers' leave uptake, especially when leaves are reserved exclusively for fathers (i.e. so-called "daddy quota" policies) (Bunning 2015;Duvander and Johnasson 2015), and find that fathers who take leave are more involved in childcare (Bunning 2015;Haas and Hwang 2008;Nepomnyaschy and Waldfogel 2007;Petts and Knoester 2018;Schober 2014;Tanaka and Waldfogel 2007) and housework (Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011). Despite mounting evidence, the overall picture remains incomplete because existing research has not simultaneously analyzed how paid leave policies shape both paid and unpaid work for mothers and fathers. ...
... Findings from Germany, the United Kingdom, and Sweden suggest that paid leave policies explicitly designed to incentivize fathers' leave take-up, such as daddy months, can increase fathers' involvement in childcare (Bunning 2015;Haas and Hwang 2008;Schober 2014;Tanaka and Waldfogel 2007), but the effects on housework are less clear. Kotsadam and Finseraas (2011) find increases in laundry for Norwegian fathers. Schober (2014) finds no changes in housework among German men; but Bunning (2015) finds changes in housework among German men who take longer leaves. ...
... The results on paid work are consistent with previous research finding that US paid leave policies reduce short-term paid work effort among mothers' (i.e., Byker 2016; Goldsmith 2019) and fathers' (i.e.,Bartel et al. 2018), but have limited or no impact on longer-term paid work for either(Bailey et al. 2019). The results on unpaid work are consistent with previous research on California finding that it increased mothers' child care but not fathers' (i.e., Trajkovski 2019, but see Knoester 2018 or Pragg andKnoester 2017 for evidence on US fathers who take leave being more involved in childcare), and they are consistent with research in other countries showing that paid leave policies are associated with increases in fathers' housework (i.e., Bunning 2015;Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011). Several patterns, in particular changes in fathers' housework, appear to last over a year, suggesting potential durability. ...
Article
The birth of a new child continues to exacerbate gender specialization among different-sex couples. This study considers the potential of paid leave policies to intervene in this key life-course juncture and promote more gender egalitarian divisions of paid and unpaid work. While previous research has examined the impact of paid leave policies on paid or unpaid work among mothers or fathers separately, this is the first study to examine comprehensively how these benefits shape both mothers and fathers and both paid and unpaid work outcomes. I use data from the Current Population Survey 1990-2020 and the American Time Use Survey 2003-2019 and quasi-experimental differences-in-differences models to examine the impact of the introduction of paid leave policies in California and New Jersey on paid and unpaid work outcomes among different-sex couples. I find that change was modest and uneven. California and New Jersey paid leave policies declined mothers’ and fathers paid work after new births, increased mothers’ care work but not fathers’, and increased fathers’ housework but not mothers’. On the whole, paid leave policies appear to have helped support mothers’ primary caregiver role while simultaneously encouraging a more gender egalitarian division of housework.
... In addition, because generous leave policies often go hand in hand with generous public spending on family benefits more generally, macro-level studies make it difficult to isolate the impact of leave policies (ibid). Even with such considerations, several quantitative studies in limited country contexts such as Germany, Quebec, and Norway do find that fathers taking leave has a lasting redistributive effect on the gendered division of housework and childcare (for examples, see Bünning, 2015;Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011;Patnaik, 2019;Schober, 2014;Tamm, 2019;Wray, 2020), but there is a need for more longitudinal qualitative research which can account for the selectiveness of fathers opting to take leave. ...
... When it comes to whether there exists a positive causal relationship, several quantitative papers further confirm a positive causal link (Arnalds et al., 2013;Bünning, 2015;Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011;Patnaik, 2019;Schober, 2014;Tamm, 2019;Wray, 2020) between father' uptake of leave and their involvement in unpaid labour. ...
... In Norway, Kotsadam and Finseraas (2011) find that after the implementation of the four weeks of reserved leave for fathers, respondents reported lower conflict over the household division of labour and were more likely to divide laundry, formerly the most unequally shared domestic chore, equally. In Quebec, Patnaik (2019) uses benefits claims data to find that the introduction of a five-week reserved paternity leave policy resulted in eligible fathers increasing their time in housework, but not childcare. ...
Thesis
While interest in fathers’ uptake of leave is increasing internationally, the extant literature on fathers’ leave primarily documents Western, especially Nordic contexts. Against such a backdrop, my thesis investigates the determinants and aftermaths of fathers’ uptake of leave in South Korea using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data and methods. I focus on to what extent fathers’ leave contributes to equalising the gendered division of unpaid labour, elevating childbearing intentions, and reconciliation of childcare and employment. The first paper gives a general comparison of leave-takers and non-takers based on a national survey. I find fathers’ employment in the private sector or large private sector companies to be the most salient sociodemographic determinant of their uptake of leave, followed by mothers’ bargaining power. I further find that dual-earner fathers who take leave contribute significantly more to housework and childcare than their counterparts. Moreover, the mothers of leave-taking fathers report lower intentions for a second child and significantly greater work-family conflict. The second paper assesses whether fathers’ uptake of parental leave contributes to a more equitable division of unpaid labour based on original survey data. I find that it is mostly the selection of fathers already involved in housework and developmental childcare which explains most of the difference between fathers who have taken leave and those who have not. There is only limited evidence to suggest that very long leaves of one year or longer could potentially make fathers more involved in the case of routine childcare. The third paper inquires whether fathers’ leave is pro-natalist by exploring the processes and mechanisms by which fathers’ uptake of parental leave impacts intentions for additional children. Both my quantitative and qualitative analysis confirms that fathers’ parental leave has an anti- rather than pro-natalist effect. Findings demonstrate that in countries with poor support for the reconciliation of employment and childcare, equalising the gendered division of parental leave alone may not be sufficient to see a reversal in its fertility trends. The fourth paper studies how norms about childcare and working hours shape fathers’ decisions to take (long) leave as well as their work-family balance after leave. My analysis of interview and blog data finds that fathers are often pushed to take (long) leave as a last resort in an absence of more desirable alternatives to care for a young child. These conditions continue to constrain parents after the end of the fathers’ leave and limit the otherwise more radical impact that fathers’ uptake of leave could have on work-family balance and gender equality. Overall, I argue that in a context characterised by high levels of work-family conflict and where a minority of fathers take leave, fathers’ leave plays a rather limited role in contributing to a more gender-egalitarian work-family balance, at least for the time being. My thesis extends the empirical literature on fathers’ leave to an East Asian country based on the utilisation of original and multi- data and mixed methods and demonstrates the importance of accounting for context in designing, implementing, and researching leave policy.
... These have produced mixed results and no consensus has emerged. For example, the introduction of daddy months in Norway had no effect on parents' attitudes towards gender roles but led to lower levels of reported conflicts over the household division of labour and a more equal division of some household tasks (Kotsadam & Finseraas 2011). Another study focused on Norway found that the increase in childcare availability was associated with a significant shift in mother's attitudes towards the suitability of institutional care Moreover, attitudinal change can also run in the unintended direction. ...
... However, the two mechanisms of exposure and norm-setting policy feedback effects cannot be considered entirely independent from each other. For example, being offered the new benefit may affect parental attitudes even if a parent does not actually use the leave (Kotsadam & Finseraas 2011). Eligible parents were directly exposed to important norm-setting signals that the new benefit carried (Hook 2010). ...
... For example, highly-educated fathers are most likely to take parental leave (Geisler & Kreyenfeld 2019), and educational level has been found to be systematically related to attitudes towards gender roles (e.g. Kotsadam & Finseraas 2011, Bauernschuster & Rainer 2012. Similarly, mothers' and fathers' leave duration and how couples choose to split leave among them is likely to be related to the attitudes they hold. ...
Thesis
Despite substantial progress, gender gaps in labour market outcomes persist. Several key factors help explain remaining gaps. First, men and women continue to work in different jobs. Second, parenthood appears to be a crucial point in the life course at which gender gaps widen. Third, traditional beliefs and norms about the appropriate roles of men and women, particularly in the context of parenthood, are obstacles to closing remaining gender gaps. At the same time, advancements in automation technologies are transforming the world of work and may have genderspecific impacts. Motivated by these observations, this thesis advances understanding of several factors related to gender inequality in the labour market. These factors are gendered university major choices, attitudes towards gender roles in the context of parenthood, and effects of recent transformations in labour markets on the gender gap in pay. The thesis consists of four empirical papers. The first paper studies the role of intergenerational transmission for gendered university major choices of young adults. Using regression analysis and exploiting survey data from a recent cohort of university students in Germany, the paper investigates to what extent and why gender-typicality of mother's and father's occupation affect the gender-typicality of their child's university major. Results show signifficant intergenerational associations and indicate that parental resources and a transmission of gender roles are both relevant transmission channels, particularly for sons' major choices. The second and third paper examine how gender role attitudes are shaped in the context of parenthood. The second paper analyses effects of the 2007 paid parental leave reform (Elterngeld) in Germany on parents' gender role attitudes; specifically, attitudes towards the gender division of work, towards the roles of fathers, and towards the labour force participation of mothers. Exploiting the reform as a natural experiment, results indicate that men affected by the reform hold more traditional attitudes towards the role of fathers, whereas there is no effect on the other two iv outcomes. Focusing on the UK, the third paper explores whether parenting daughters affects attitudes towards a traditional male breadwinner model in which it is the husband's role to work and the wife's to stay at home. Using panel data and individual fixed effects models, the results indicate that fathers are less likely to hold traditional views on the gender division of work if they raise a girl. No robust effects on mothers' attitudes are found. Results from the second and third paper inform the broader literature on attitudinal change, suggesting that gender role attitudes are not stable throughout the life course and can be significantly shaped by adulthood experiences. The final paper studies whether technological change increases gender inequality. Using individual-level data from around 28 million individuals in 20 European countries and an instrumental variable strategy, the study provides the first large-scale evidence concerning the impact of industrial robots on the gender gap in earnings. Findings indicate that robot adoption increases both male and female earnings but also increases the gender pay gap. These results are driven by countries with high initial levels of gender inequality and can be explained by the fact that men in medium- and high-skilled occupations disproportionately benefit from robotization, through a productivity effect.
... In terms of fathers and leave, the logic has been that giving fathers the opportunity to spend more time at home through leave after childbirth should result in greater involvement in domestic life and childcare. More studies on fathers taking leave have been published over last decade spanning both comparative and within country policy analysis, particularly concerning implementation and impact at a macro-level (e.g., Nepomnyaschy and Waldfogel 2007;Huerta et al. 2013;Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;Rege and Solli 2010;Bünning 2015). ...
... The natural experiment paradigm, which has framed many of these studies, has produced evidence of greater engagement of fathers in the care of children after policy reforms, in comparison with fathers who do not take leave. For instance, Kotsadam and Finseraas (2011) found that men whose last child was born in the year after Norway's father quota introduction in 1993 reported 11% lower levels of conflict over household division of labour and were 50% more likely to share in clothes washing than men whose last child was born just before the reform. However, there has been some concern that greater engagement by fathers who have taken leave may be short-lived rather than long-term and so have a weak impact on the gendering of care. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
There are various types of family leave available to fathers across and within countries. The specific design features of family leave policies are associated with how well used they are by fathers, and the key features associated with higher take up by fathers are presented here. There is an emerging literature on the various impacts of fathers on leave in relation to factors such as family health and well-being and gender equality in the labour market. In particular, fathers and family leave are important for a good quality of infant life. Finally, the chapter considers ways in which employers can support fathers in the workplace to take leave, in light of the range of associated benefits.
... In terms of fathers and leave, the logic has been that giving fathers the opportunity to spend more time at home through leave after childbirth should result in greater involvement in domestic life and childcare. More studies on fathers taking leave have been published over last decade spanning both comparative and within country policy analysis, particularly concerning implementation and impact at a macro-level (e.g., Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;Rege and Solli 2010;. ...
... The natural experiment paradigm, which has framed many of these studies, has produced evidence of greater engagement of fathers in the care of children after policy reforms, in comparison with fathers who do not take leave. For instance, Kotsadam and Finseraas (2011) found that men whose last child was born in the year after Norway's father quota introduction in 1993 reported 11% lower levels of conflict over household division of labour and were 50% more likely to share in clothes washing than men whose last child was born just before the reform. However, there has been some concern that greater engagement by fathers who have taken leave may be short-lived rather than long-term and so have a weak impact on the gendering of care. ...
Book
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This aim of this open access book is to launch an international, cross-disciplinary conversation on fatherhood engagement. By integrating perspective from three sectors—Health, Social Policy, and Work in Organizations—the book offers a novel perspective on the benefits of engaged fatherhood for men, for families, and for gender equality. The chapters are crafted to engaged broad audiences, including policy makers and organizational leaders, healthcare practitioners and fellow scholars, as well as families and their loved ones.
... Fjölmargar rannsóknir sýna að umönnunarþátttaka feðra, eftir að faeðingarorlofi lýkur, eykst með tilkomu sjálfstaeðs réttar feðra til töku faeðingarorlofs (sjá t.d. Cools, Fiva & Kirkebøen 2015;Kotsadam & Finseraas 2011;Rege & Solli 2013;Schober 2014). Þá kom fram í nýlegri skýrslu Alþjóðaheilbrigðismálastofnunar (Incley o.fl. ...
... Þó að faeðingarorlofslöggjöf í nágrannalöndum okkar hafi það ekki að markmiði að draga úr skilnaðartíðni, eru vísbendingar um að faeðingarorlofsnýting feðra hafi óbein áhrif vegna aukinnar þátttöku þeirra í umönnun og heimilishaldi. Í því sambandi má benda á að Kotsadam og Finseraas (2011) komust að því að tilkoma sjálfstaeðs réttar feðra til faeðingarorlofs í Noregi varð til þess að draga úr ágreiningi foreldra um hvernig beri að skipta heimilisverkum. Sömuleiðis leiddi rannsókn Evertsson, Boye og Erman (2018) í ljós að því lengra faeðingarorlof sem saenskir feður nýttu, því ánaegðari voru maeðurnar með það hvernig verkaskiptingu við umönnun barna þeirra var háttað. ...
Article
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Í maí 2000 samþykkti Alþingi einróma lög nr. 95/2000 um fæðingar- og foreldraorlof. Lögin fólu í sér afar róttækar breytingar á aðstæðum nýbakaðra foreldra. Samkvæmt markmiðum laganna áttu þau að stuðla að því að börn nytu samvista við foreldra sína og auðvelda konum og körlum að samþætta atvinnuog fjölskyldulíf. Þessi lög voru í gildi þar til heildarendurskoðun leiddi til laga nr. 144/2020. Í þessari grein er spurt að hvaða leyti löggjöfin hafi náð hinu tvíþætta markmiði. Gögn, sem aflað með könnunum meðal foreldra á fjórum tímapunktum yfir tæplega 20 ára tímabil, voru nýtt til að greina breytingar á þátttöku mæðra og feðra í umönnun fyrsta barns og breytingar á vinnumarkaðsþátttöku mæðra og feðra ári fyrir fæðingu barnsins og þar til það nær þriggja ára aldri. Niðurstöður sýna að frá gildistöku laganna hafa feður aukið þátttöku sína í umönnun barna sinna og dregið hefur saman með foreldrum hvað varðar atvinnuþátttöku og vinnutíma.
... Cross-national comparisons find family policies to correlate with gendered behaviour, but few studies examine the relationship with direct family policy measures (Kangas and Rostgaard, 2007). Some recent family policy evaluation studies have revealed moderate changes towards less-traditional gender ideologies for the introduction of paternal leave in Norway (Kotsadam and Finseraas, 2011) and increased childcare capacities in Germany (Zoch and Schober, 2018). However, these studies focused on within-changes in ideologies and did not examine general trends. ...
Article
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Previous cross-sectional studies highlight persistent East–West differences in gender ideologies after German reunification. This study examines the extent to which gender ideologies in the East and West have converged and whether differences are still relevant for younger cohorts who experienced childhood around the time of reunification, or after 1989. Using data from the German Family Panel pairfam (2008–2019) and differences in regime-specific socialization for three cohorts born before and after reunification, results reveal that different dimensions of gender ideologies have only partly converged 30 years after reunification. Attitudes towards housework and female employment converged particularly, yet, in all cohorts, views on maternal employment remain substantially different between East and West. Observed convergence occurred only partly due to contrasting trends of modernization in West Germany and re-traditionalization in East Germany. Moreover, the results highlight smaller attitude changes with increasing age, particularly for the younger cohorts, contributing to further variations in East–West differences. Overall, the findings confirm the existence of long-lasting ideology differences due to regime-specific socialization, and a persistently altered composition of society in East and West Germany. At the same time, they point towards slow convergence among younger cohorts due to a more similar institutional and socialization context following reunification.
... In other words, although not directly investigated in the current study, the relationship between paid paternity leave and maternal wellbeing may be explained by fathers' contributions to domestic responsibilities. Previous research supports this explanation, suggesting that well-designed paid paternity leave policies encourage a more equitable division of childcare (Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011), which in turn supports maternal mental health (Séjourné et al., 2012). More flexible work arrangements have been associated with enhanced mental health outcomes in mothers, including lower rates of prescriptions for anti-anxiety medication (Persson & Rossin-Slater, 2019). ...
Article
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Paid family leave may mitigate stress and health challenges across the transition to parenthood. The current study examined whether paid paternity leave is associated with first-time parents' trajectories of depression, stress, and sleep from the prenatal to postpartum periods. Expectant parents (72 couples) reported on their depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and daytime fatigue during mid-to-late pregnancy and then again at six months postpartum. At one year postpartum, fathers reported on any paid or unpaid leave taken following their child's birth. We used a repeated-measures design to compare couples in which the father either did or did not access paid paternity leave. When fathers took paid paternity leave, their partners' stress and depressive symptoms showed smaller prenatal to postpartum increases than mothers whose partners did not take paid leave. Similarly, fathers who took paid paternity leave, compared to those who did not, reported smaller prenatal to postpartum increases in stress and daytime fatigue. These results remained largely unchanged when controlling for the length of fathers' leave. The study's longitudinal, within-subject design allows us to examine parents' mental health relative to their own prenatal baseline, helping to account for some of the pre-existing differences between fathers who did and did not take paid paternity leave. The results suggest that paid paternity leave may be associated with greater well-being across the transition to parenthood for both fathers and mothers.
... Second, we hypothesise that parents' leave use is indirectly associated with fathers' involvement through parents' working hours. Studies have shown that fathers' leave use reduces the time they spend on paid work as their child grows older (Duvander and Jans, 2009;Kitterød, 2013;Kotsadam and Finseraas, 2011;Schober, 2014). Therefore, in countries that offer fathers' quotas, fathers tend to work less (Bünning and Pollmann-Schult, 2016). ...
Article
While Iceland and Spain historically belong to two different welfare regimes, both countries have enacted fathers’ quotas to their systems of paid parental leave. From the year 2000, Iceland has provided fathers with a three-month-long quota, and Spain introduced a 13-day fathers’ quota in 2007. Using survey data, the article applies structural equation modelling to learn of the interconnection between parents’ leave use, their working hours and fathers’ participation in care of their children. Fathers’ leave use was found to be associated with their involvement in care in both countries, both directly and indirectly, through the reduction in working hours. Icelandic fathers were more engaged in childcare than fathers in Spain, which could be explained by the longer period of paid leave available for fathers in Iceland.
... The impact of family leave schemes goes beyond protecting against job dismissal and compensating income losses. They have gained significant momentum as a policy tool in encouraging female employment (Blau and Kahn, 2013) and fertility (Lalive and Zweimüller, 2009), advocating for gender equality (Kotsadam and Finseraas, 2011), and safeguarding the well-being of mother and child (Bütikofer et al., forthcoming). To achieve these goals, the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs is expected to pay 7.25 billion euros for parental leave in 2020. 1 Previous literature examining the effects of leave schemes has focused on either short-run health or long-run educational attainment and labor market outcomes. ...
Article
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This paper assesses the impact of the length of maternity leave on children's health outcomes in the long-run. My quasi-experimental design evaluates an expansion in maternity leave coverage from two to six months, which occurred in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1979. The expansion came into effect after a sharp cutoff date and significantly increased the time working mothers stayed at home with their newborns during the first six months after childbirth. Using this cutoff date as a source of exogenous variation, I exploit German hospital registry data, which contains detailed information on the universe of inpatients’ diagnoses from 1995-2014. By tracking the health of treated and control children from age 16 up to age 35, this study provides new insights into the trajectory of health differentials over the life-cycle. I find that the legislative change generated positive long-term health effects: My intention-to-treat estimates show that children born after the implementation of the reform experience fewer hospital admissions and are less likely to be diagnosed with mental and behavioral disorders.
... For example, in Sweden, where the possibility to share parental leave was introduced in the 1970s, there was not a significant number of fathers using that opportunity before legislation was put in place in 1995 granting a father quota of one month. 103 Thus, it seems that legislating on exclusive leave for fathers (what is sometimes called 'daddy days' or 'use it or lose it' leave) is a crucial factor in securing a high percentage of paternity or parental leave usage. Moreover, legislation granting fathers exclusive leave sends a sign to society about social values and expectations, enhancing the shift towards equalisation of parental care. ...
Article
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Parental leave regulation is not gender-neutral. Policies that encourage fathers’ leave-taking relate to the enhancement of child well-being, caring fatherhood, and gender equality among the couple and in the workplace. There are various designs of parental leave policies, depending on a combination of factors, such as length, income replacement rate and the compulsory nature of leave. This article draws on data from the 16th International Review of Leave Policies and Related Research (2020) and analyses main features of parental leave policies in seven countries (Germany, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Israel, Japan and the United States), confronting it with recent research on the use of parental leave in those countries. Subsequently, the article provides evidence for the benefits of fathers’ uptake of paternity and parental leave and points out three features that leave policies must incorporate to promote gender equality and notes the importance of employers’ self-regulation.
... These findings have important implications for understanding the impact of the pandemic on families, and for identifying strategies to help parents manage work-family stress as the pandemic persists and eventually ends. Exposure to domestic needs and responsibilities can have long-lasting effects on men's performance of housework and childcare beyond immediate increases in time at home (B€ unning 2015;Carlson et al. 2021;Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;Petts and Knoester 2018;Tamm 2019). Therefore, the shift toward more egalitarian sharing of domestic work in the early days of the pandemic may continue postpandemic, as fathers' perceptions of domestic needs and their own role in addressing them shifted. ...
Article
Stay‐at‐home orders and the removal of care and domestic supports during the early days of the COVID‐19 pandemic substantially disrupted US parents’ work and family lives. Although much is known about changes in US parents’ paid labor arrangements, the evidence regarding changes in unpaid domestic labor has been largely anecdotal. This study uses novel data from 1,025 US parents in different‐sex partnerships to provide a descriptive overview of changes in mothers’ and fathers’ participation in, and division of, housework and childcare from March 2020 to the early days of the pandemic (late April 2020). Findings show an overall increase in domestic responsibilities for mothers who were already doing most of the household labor. Still, both mothers and fathers report a general shift toward more egalitarian divisions of household labor, driven by increases in fathers’ contributions. The shift toward more egalitarian sharing of domestic labor is observed across demographic groups and across types of domestic tasks. Consistent with findings from other countries, egalitarian divisions of domestic labor increased among U.S. parents during the early days of the COVID‐19 pandemic. Mothers, nonetheless, report retaining primary responsibility for domestic labor in the majority of families.
... Hence, the arguments for gender-neutral language (e.g., police officers instead of policemen) as a means to reduce such bias. 19 Kostadam and Finseraas (2011) showed how the introduction of parental leave that was specifically targeted at fathers led to a more equal division of household work in Norwegian families. 20 This is contrary to parental leave policies that are not specifically targeted at fathers and which may therefore reinforce existing gender norms that place women at home and men outside the home. ...
Preprint
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Essay accompanying the lecture delivered at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel on May 12, 2021, as part of the Emile Verhaeren chair. In this essay, I argue for a better understanding of social norms’ role in upholding existing gender hierarchies.
... In Sweden, for instance, the introduction and subsequent expansion of a "father quota" led not only to increases in the number of fathers using any leave, but also to a steady and sustained increase in the share of days used by men (Duvander & Johansson, 2012;Ekberg, Eriksson, & Friebel, 2013). Moreover, there is also a growing body of quasi-experimental evidence to suggest that fathers-only parental leave produces lasting positive effects on fathers' engagement in various forms of unpaid work and childcare (Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011;Patnaik, 2018;Tamm, 2018). A drawback of fathers-only leave is that it may discourage fathers from having additional children (Farré & González, 2019), while it may instead encourage fertility in a more gender equitable environment (Duvander et al., 2016). ...
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Families are a cornerstone of society. Families and the way they function have huge effects on the well-being of their members. Families provide social support networks, offering love, care and friendship. They also play an important economic role in the production of household goods, and provide protection against hardship. Families are also a source of economic and social externalities that have major effects on wider society. For example, it is individual adults who decide when and how to establish formal partnerships and when and how to have children. These choices are important to family members themselves, but also have implications for countries as a whole; today's birth rates strongly influence the size of the future labor force, for instance, with knock-on effects on future economic performance, tax revenue and the sustainability of social protection systems. In addition, family decisions vary with the socioeconomic status and contribute to the transmission of inequalities from one generation to the next. This chapter first provides an overview of changes in family and work behaviours. It highlights the diversification of family models and points to the inequalities associated with these changes. It then presents how policies have developed to reconcile work and family commitments and reduce gender inequality, with results that can vary with the socio-economic status of families. An important challenge remains to better support the most vulnerable families and address the inequalities that are widening with the transformation of family living arrangements.
... Similarly, a study of another "daddy quota" reform in Norway found that couples who bore their last child just after the reform were 50 percent more likely to share laundry duties than those who had their last child just before the reform. Not surprisingly, they also reported fewer conflicts over housework (Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011). ...
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This Festschrift in honour of Koen Matthijs is published on the occasion of his retirement as Full Professor of Sociology and Demography at the Centre for Sociological Research of KU Leuven (Belgium) as per 1 October 2021.
... Research done in North America also shows a positive relationship between leave length and men's involvement in care (Knoester et al., 2019;Nepomnyaschy and Waldfogel, 2007;Patnaik, 2019). In some research conducted in Scandinavian countries (Haas & Hwang, 2008;Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011;Rege & Solli, 2010), parental leave use is related not only with greater time spent on childcare, but with greater equality in some housework as well. The same effect has been recorded in Germany (Reimer & Pfau-Effinger, 2020;Tamm, 2018). ...
Article
Paternity leave has been introduced in many countries as a way to foster father´s co-responsibility in family obligations. This study aims \to analyse, for the Spanish case, if (1) the positive effects of the paternity leave are not only limited to the short term, but are maintained at medium and long term; (2) if a similar effect applies in the case of unemployment periods. Based on a subsample of 3388 cases derived from the Spanish Fertility Survey 2018, we perform OLS regression analysis of father´s involvement in childcare and housework. Our analysis shows that longer leaves are related to a greater involvement in care and housework activities, although only in the former, the effect is maintained in the long term. Regarding unemployed fathers, these individuals show more involvement in childcare during the first year, but the effect vanishes later and there is no significant relationship with housework.
... Men who are actively involved in the daily lives of their children live longer, have fewer mental or physical health problems, are less likely to abuse drugs, are more productive at work, and report being happier than fathers who are less involved with their children (Keizer, Dykstra, & Van Lenthe, 2011;Knoester & Eggebeen, 2006). Higher involvement of fathers in childcare activities has also been associated with women's higher satisfaction with the couple relationship (Carlson, Hanson, & Fitzroy, 2016;Risman & Johnson-Sumerford, 1998) and is linked with lower likelihoods of getting divorced (Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011). ...
... In most surveys, only the population directly exposed to certain institutions is asked about their attitudes towards related topics. For instance, for the question posed in this paper, it is mostly parents or close relatives of the directly affected population that are asked about their attitudes towards childcare (see, e.g., Bauernschuster and Rainer 2012;Kotsadam and Finseraas 2011;Unterhofer and Wrohlich 2017). However, one's own preferences are to a large extent driven by social norms, which can only be measured when the whole population is considered. ...
Article
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Do childcare institutions affect gender norms of individuals? I examine the introduction of childcare services and their impact on voters’ support of policies promoting maternal employment. I address the inherent endogeneity between institutions and attitudes by exploiting regional variation in the regulations and provision of childcare for school children outside of regular school hours. My results show that the expansion of childcare for school children increases voters’ support of policies promoting maternal employment. This indicates a direct effect of local institutions on voters’ attitudes. I additionally show that as public costs of the new facilities increase, support of additional policies promoting maternal employment decreases.
... Future research could thus examine the (longitudinal) processes that seem to interfere with men's initially high motivation, creating a gap between their intentions and behavior. Nevertheless, internal motivation is a necessary prerequisite for men to even consider increased communal engagement [except for cases in which policies create high incentives; 129,130]. Even for men who are not confronted with childcare and leave-taking decisions themselves, valuing communion in men can lead them to support respective policies in organizations and societies. ...
Article
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Men are currently underrepresented in traditionally female care-oriented (communal) engagement such as taking parental leave, whereas they are overrepresented in traditionally male (agentic) engagement such as breadwinning or leadership. We examined to what extent different prototypical representations of men affect men’s self-reported parental leave-taking intentions and more generally the future they can imagine for themselves with regard to work and care roles (i.e., their possible selves). We expected prototypes of men that combine the two basic stereotype dimensions of agency and communion to increase men’s communal intentions. In two experiments ( N 1 = 132, N 2 = 233), we presented male participants with contrived newspaper articles that described the ideal man of today with varying degrees of agency and communion (between-subjects design with four conditions; combined agentic and communal vs. agentic vs. communal vs. control condition). Results of Experiment 1 were in line with the main hypothesis that especially presenting a combination of agency and communion increases men’s expectations for communal engagement: As compared to a control condition, men expected more to engage in caretaking in the future, reported higher parental leave-taking intentions, and tended to expect taking longer parental leave. Experiment 2 only partially replicated these findings, namely for parental leave-taking intentions. Both experiments additionally provided initial evidence for a contrast effect in that an exclusive focus on agency also increased men’s self-reported parental leave-taking intentions compared to the control condition. Yet, exclusively emphasizing communion in prototypes of men did not affect men’s communal intentions, which were high to begin with. We further did not find evidence for preregistered mechanisms. We discuss conditions and explanations for the emergence of these mixed effects as well as implications for the communication of gendered norms and barriers to men’s communal engagement more broadly.
... Certaines études trouvent des impacts positifs ou nuls sur l'emploi et le salaire des mères pour les années post-congés [Baker and Milligan (2008) ; Kluve and Tamm (2013) ; Rossin-Slater et al. (2013) ; Asai (2015) ; Bergemann and Riphahn (2015) ; Carneiro et al. (2015) ; Baum and Ruhm (2016) ; Byker (2016) ; Dahl et al. (2016) ; Lacroix et al. (2017b), ] alors que d'autres documentent des impacts négatifs, notamment à long terme [Lalive and Zweimüller (2009) 8. Dans beaucoup de pays, l'instauration des congés familiaux n'a pas entièrement eu les effets escomptés en matière d'égalité entre les mères et les pères. Certes, certains travaux examinant les retombées des congés réservés aux pères (paternité ou parentaux) ont mis en évidence leurs effets positifs sur l'implication des pères dans les tâches domestiques et parentales, qui peuvent aller au-delà de la période de congé [Kotsadam andFinseraas (2011), Bünning (2015), Pailhé et al. (2018), ] et de pair avec une moindre spécialisation des mères dans ces tâches, les rendant plus disponibles pour l'emploi et favorisant la négociation au sein des ménages au regard des réductions d'activités. Ces effets positifs pourraient en outre être renforcés attentes et aux difficultés de certains parents dans des situations particulières (précarité de l'emploi, monoparentalité, etc.). ...
Thesis
Ce travail doctoral en économie appliquée propose une analyse des comportements individuels en matière de protection sociale, dans le contexte de la santé et plus généralement de la gestion du capital humain. Le chapitre 1 analyse l'effet du niveau de couverture assurantielle sur la consommation individuelle de soins dans le contexte français, en tenant compte de la dimension comportementale. A partir de données d’enquête, ce travail met en avant le rôle majeur de l’aversion au risque sur la nature de la relation observée entre le niveau de garanties des contrats de complémentaire santé et le niveau de dépenses de soins des assurés. Les chapitres 2 et 3 étudient l'arbitrage individuel entre assurance et prévention, à partir d’une étude expérimentale. Le chapitre 2 révèle tout d’abord une incohérence dynamique des choix des participants, qui se traduit par une diminution de la demande d'assurance avec à l’introduction d’un mécanisme de prévention, sans pour autant induire davantage d'efforts préventifs ensuite. Le chapitre 3 met quant à lui en avant le rôle de la liberté de choix en assurance sur le niveau d’effort de prévention consenti par les assurés : le fait de laisser le choix du contrat aux participants diminue le niveau d’effort de prévention qu’ils sont prêts à fournir ensuite, à niveau de couverture donné. Le chapitre 4 analyse l'impact des conditions de travail sur le recours aux arrêts maladie des salariés français. A partir de données d’enquête, enrichies de variables concernant les conditions d'indemnisation individuelles en cas d'absence, il révèle notamment l'existence de disparités dans les comportements d'arrêts maladie et l'état de santé général entre les travailleurs exposés à certains facteurs de pénibilité et ceux qui ne le sont pas, avec un rôle majeur joué par les risques psychosociaux. Enfin, le chapitre 5 propose la première évaluation de l’effet causal de la générosité des prestations familiales versées en cas de congé parental à la suite d’une naissance sur la durée du congé demandée par les mères les plus modestes. En utilisant l’approche par Regression Kink Design (RKD), mise en œuvre sur des données administratives et fiscales québécoises, ce travail confirme l’effet positif attendu de la générosité des prestations familiales versées aux mères à faible revenu sur la durée du congé parental qu'elles demandent, avec un effet plus marqué pour les mères monoparentales.
... En moins de deux décennies, elle semble avoir produit des résultats probants en ce qui a trait à l'égalité entre les sexes. Les études soulignent qu'en plus d'avoir des effets sur le partage des tâches liées aux soins de l'enfant (Hooks, 2006 ;Boll et al., 2014), le quota de congé de paternité aurait également des effets sur le partage des autres tâches ménagères (Dribe et Stanfors, 2009 ;Kotsadam et Finseraas, 2011). Ce phénomène s'explique probablement par le fait que ledit congé de paternité permettrait au nouveau père de développer les compétences nécessaires pour prendre soin de son enfant et reconnaître ses besoins. ...
Article
« On ne naît pas femme : on le devient », écrivait Simone de Beauvoir dans Le deuxième sexe , énonçant, pour la première fois dans l’histoire, l’idée que la féminité devait être comprise comme un produit social plutôt que comme un donné naturel. En vue des inégalités sociales et économiques auxquelles mène l’intégration des modèles genrés féminins, serait-il légitime de tenter de bouleverser ou même d’interrompre, sur le plan politique, le processus social du « devenir femme » ? Cet article se veut une tentative de réponse partielle à cette question, à partir de la perspective du libéralisme politique. Abordant le cas des inégalités économiques entre les hommes et les femmes au Canada, la première partie explore les tensions entre la promotion de l’égalité entre les sexes et l’impératif libéral de respect des choix individuels. Plusieurs féministes ont, en effet, soutenu qu’il est impossible, à partir d’un cadre libéral, de rendre compte des inégalités relatives au genre et d’y remédier, puisque celles-ci découlent de choix et de préférences liés aux conceptions de la « vie bonne » individuelles. La deuxième partie porte, quant à elle, sur la politique qui semble expliquer le succès des pays présentant la plus grande parité entre les sexes, soit les quotas de congés parentaux pour les pères. La troisième partie examine cette politique dans une perspective critique afin de dégager les principaux arguments qui militent contre l’implantation de tels quotas dans une société libérale. Contre ces arguments, la dernière partie fait la démonstration qu’il serait non seulement cohérent d’implanter une telle politique dans une société libérale, mais que celle-ci constitue un impératif en regard de la raison d’être du libéralisme comme forme d’organisation sociale.
... Slechts 44,6% van de respondenten is voorstander van meer ouderschapsverlof voor koppels waar de partners dit verlof gelijkmatiger verdelen en slechts een nipte meerderheid (53,8%) is voorstander om het geboorteverlof voor vaders uit te breiden van 10 naar 20 dagen. De laatste hervorming werd opgenomen in het regeerakkoord van de Belgische federale regering De Croo I. Uit Noors onderzoek blijkt nochtans dat meer vaderschapsverlof bijdraagt aan een gelijkere verdeling van huishoudtaken en zelfs aan betere schoolprestaties van de kinderen (Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011;Cools, Fiva, & Kirkebøen, 2015). Daarnaast is het opvallend dat bij beide hervormingen vrouwen hier meer voorstander zijn dan mannen. ...
Article
Dit artikel gebruikt resultaten van een survey van zowel een toevalssteekproef (N = 500) als een gemakssteekproef (N = 2919) bij meerderjarige Vlamingen om het draagvlak voor 24 potentiële arbeidsmarkthervormingen na te gaan. Enerzijds tonen de resultaten aan dat er een groot draagvlak is voor (aangemoedigde én verplichte) opleiding en gemeenschapsdienst voor werklozen en voor de jobbonus. Allemaal maatregelen die gepland zijn door de Vlaamse Regering Jambon I. Anderzijds is er een klein draagvlak voor hervormingen die – de nochtans erg gewenste – verhoging van het minimumpensioen naar 1500 euro netto realistisch moeten maken, zoals het uitfaseren van het brugpensioen, het minder afhankelijk maken van pensioenopbouw van gelijkgestelde periodes en het (gedeeltelijk) ontkoppelen van lonen en anciënniteit. Dit maakt duidelijk dat de eindeloopbaandiscussie die de Belgische federale regering De Croo I wil voeren geen evidente opdracht wordt. Voor het geplande opvoeren van de strijd tegen sociale en fiscale fraude is er wel een groot draagvlak. Een enigszins verrassend klein draagvlak is er voor maatregelen die de positie van de vrouw op de arbeidsmarkt beogen te versterken: quota voor vrouwen in raden van bestuur van privébedrijven, meer ouderschapsverlof voor koppels waar de partners dit verlof gelijkmatiger verdelen en een uitbreiding van het geboorteverlof voor vaders van tien naar twintig dagen.
... In other countries, policymakers have also worked to increase women's labour force participation by facilitating work-life balance through childcare and parental leave policies (Burgess, Gregg, Propper, & Washbrook, 2008, p. 169). However, those policies are still inadequate at satisfying the needs of fathers to involve in caregiving and household labour (Ruppander, 2010, p. 965); as a result, creating gender inequalities (Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011, p. 1611. Even though a shift in fathers' roles in children's lives can be observed in many cultures (O'Brien, Berit, & Elin, 2007, p. 377) and men are not seen as solely breadwinners but responsible for sharing care with their partners; mothers are still acknowledged as the primary caregivers (Huerta, et al., 2014, p. 2). ...
Article
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Paternity leave is integral to transition to parenting and father-children bonding, providing fathers the necessary time to take part in an equal share of household labour. Still, policy legislation on paternity leave from work for fathers is not prevalent; therefore, there exists no comprehensive review of their potential impacts and benefits to guide educational and psychological research in this area. This systematic review aims to acknowledge the extent to which different paternal leave for fathers is studied, focusing on the shifts in the trends of the inquiry of the fathers' leave based on time, study location, research context, and sampling by addressing this gap. Methods A systemic review of peer-reviewed literature retrieved from electronic databases was conducted. A total of 1993 abstracts were included for the study and selected 141 published papers from 1990 to 2019 on the use of paternal leave were reviewed. The main findings were coded and analysed through NVIVO 12. Results The synthesis of the results suggested that there has been growing interest in paid parental leave regarding fathers in particular over time. The findings showed that the focus was on the effects of paternity leave on the transition to parenting and gender equality.
... In another case, following implementation of a 4-week "daddy quota" in Norway, couples reported fewer conflicts over household division of labor than those who had children before the reform. (Kotsadam & Finseraas 2011) Both parents are enabled to meet a greater share of their obligations and responsibilities at work and at home with lesser risk for conflict and resentment, thereby protecting emotional bonds and relationship ties within couples. ...
Preprint
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Across high and low-income countries alike, paid parental leave has been identified for its strong potential to improve health outcomes for both children and parents and to reduce economic and gendered inequality (Heyman et al. 2017). This review will evaluate the welfare arguments for extending equitable leave rights to fathers in order to improve family wellbeing and related sustainable development outcomes. Using Amartya Sen's capabilities approach and Martin Seligman's PERMA indicator model for mental and emotional wellbeing as complementary frameworks, I analyze how gender-inclusive leave policies, as opposed to mother-only and gender-neutral leave, enable happier and more capable families while also advancing economic prosperity and gender equality. In particular this paper will focus on 2030 Sustainable Development Goals 3, 5, and 8-good health and wellbeing, gender equality, and decent work and economic growth. My results find that the inclusion of equitable leave for fathers in paternity leave schemes enables families to 'be and do' more, more happily when parents are able to choose who works and who cares for their child amongst themselves.
... Firstly, fathers taking parental leave may also be more inclined to engage in childcare afterwards because of their ideas about paternity (e. g. Duvander & Jans, 2009;Kotsadam & Finseraas, 2011). This kind of relationship between parental leave and the future time spent on childcare has its origins in fathers' ideas about their role as fathers and includes the implicit idea that these self-concepts are mainly fixed around the time of birth and the early years of children. ...
... Previous research has described how fathers taking leave also do a larger share of housework post-leave than other fathers (Almqvist & Duvander 2014;Boye 2008;Haas & Hwang 2008;Kotsadam & Finseraas 2011). For example, a Swedish mixed-method study combining survey and interviews found that parents shared both childcare and household work more equally after leave, especially in cases where the father had taken long individual leave (Almqvist & Duvander 2014). ...
Article
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Objective: This article reports on the associations of fathers' leave take-up with parents' care responsibilities when their child is around four years old. Background: In families with small children women continue to do more parental care work than men. Several studies, however, have suggested that fathers who take up parental leave also take more responsibility for childcare. Method: We applied logistic regression analysis to Finnish survey data collected in 2019 from the mothers and fathers of four-year-old children to find out whether father’s take-up and length of leave is related to fathers taking equal or more responsibility for different dimensions of parental responsibilities, including hands-on care, interacting with the child, community responsibility and mental labour. Results: Our descriptive analysis showed that in families with two working parents, parents shared some hands-on care tasks more equally if the father had taken more than three weeks of leave. When only the father was in paid employment, his take-up of leave was associated with taking the child to or from daycare. Conclusion: We conclude that while father's individual leave has unfulfilled potential in dismantling gendered parental care responsibilities, its effects might differ across different dimensions of parental responsibilities.
Article
This contribution centres on men who claim parental leave benefits in the federal states of Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein. The analyses are based on register data collected by local authorities for children born between 2007 and 2009. First, it is asked about the determinants underlying the take-up of fathers’ parental leave benefits. Then, couples with different durations of fathers’ parental leave are investigated more closely. Fathers’ decision to take any parental leave follows essentially economic considerations within the couple. Female partners’ employment and their relative earnings have a positive impact. Couples where fathers’ parental leave exceeds the “daddy quota” represent quite a select group that has become smaller over time. Living in a non-marital union or in a large city, having more children as well as female partners’ particular situation (e.g., self-employment, in education) facilitate a longer parental leave of fathers. Zusammenfassung Im Zentrum des vorliegenden Beitrags steht der Elterngeldbezug von Vätern im Kontext der Partnerschaft in den Bundesländern Bayern, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Schleswig-Holstein. Grundlage der Analysen sind von den Elterngeldstellen erhobene Daten für zwischen 2007 und 2009 geborene Kinder. Es wird danach gefragt, welche Paare überhaupt einen Partnerantrag stellen und wodurch sich Paare mit unterschiedlicher Dauer des Elterngeldbezugs durch Väter voneinander unterscheiden. Die Entscheidung für einen Partnerantrag folgt im Wesentlichen aus ökonomischen Theorien abgeleiteten Erwartungen, denn eine Erwerbstätigkeit und ein hohes Einkommen der Frau begünstigen diese. Väter, bei denen der Elterngeldbezug mit einer über die „Bonusmonate“ hinausgehenden Elternzeit einhergeht, sind eine sehr selektive Gruppe, die im Zeitverlauf sogar kleiner geworden ist. Ein nichteheliches Zusammenleben, das Leben in einer Großstadt, eine höhere Anzahl von Kindern sowie eine spezifische Lebenssituation der Partnerin (z.B. selbstständige Tätigkeit, Beendigung einer Ausbildung) wirken sich positiv auf eine längere Elternzeit des Vaters aus.
Article
Objective The aim of the study was to examine whether gender equality‐focused parental benefits affect the union stability of couples. Background Generous, flexible, and gender equality‐focused parental benefits have been shown to increase fathers' use of parental leave and time with children. Even though these policies have no explicit aims regarding relationship stability, two longstanding theoretical perspectives (traditionalist and egalitarian) offer potential mechanisms through which this type of policy can shift relationship dynamics either to increase or to decrease union dissolution. Method Using Canadian administrative data, we estimate difference‐in‐differences and local average treatment effects to examine the effects of the Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP 2006) on union dissolution. Then we examine whether the policy had heterogenous effects on couples which are likely to be either traditional or egalitarian. Results We find that QPIP decreased the separation rate by half of a percentage point overall, a 6% decrease. The greatest reductions in union dissolution are found among couples likely to be more egalitarian in orientation. Conclusion The large negative effects of this family policy on union dissolution are significant, as they show one clear way in which family policies can encourage egalitarianism and stabilize families during the second phase of the gender revolution.
Article
Earmarked paternity leave has been introduced in an attempt to increase fathers’ involvement in child rearing and in order to achieve gender equality in the labor market and at home. So far researchers have not paid much attention to the well-being effects of such policies. This paper takes a first step in that direction by studying the impact of earmarked paternity leave quota on well-being, using 7 policy changes in the Nordic countries over the period 1993-2013. Using an RD design we find an average effect of earmarked leave policies on parental well-being that is near zero, but find heterogeneous effects based on education level. Earmarked paternity leave increases well-being for the highly educated, but not for those with less education. The wage replacement rate of the leave policy turns out to be an important driver of this effect. We show using a DDD design that the highly educated report higher well-being regardless of the replacement rate. At the same time the effects on the lower educated depend on the replacement rate. They benefit only when the replacement rate is high. This finding can be explained by a disutility from not being able to adhere to a changing gender norm regarding fathers’ role in the household.
Article
Objective This study aims to explore how equitable paternity leave policy may combine with other family policy to impact fertility levels. Background The decision to start a family is personal but takes place in the context of policies that vary in level of support. Although policies offering fathers paid leave from work are expected to promote gender equity and make family formation easier, these policies have been implemented with little evidence of effectiveness. Method This study uses fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis to study data from the International Labour Organization, the World Bank, and the International Leave Network to compare policies systematically across 43 countries. Results Employing the paternity leave equity typology, evidence suggests that high increases in fertility are found in countries where paternity leave policies promote equity in combination with other factors, or in less affluent countries where women tend to start families later and experience less paid labor market participation. Conclusion This research suggests that a one‐size‐fits‐all approach may not promote fertility. Implications In addition to equity in parental leave, policymakers should consider a range of factors that affect parents, especially women's participation in the workforce and age at first birth. Further research is needed to identify conditions in which equitable paternity leaves are most effective so policymakers can develop evidence‐based policies best suited to meeting their goals.
Article
Generous government-mandated parental leave is generally viewed as an effective policy to support women’s careers around childbirth. But does it help women to reach top positions in the upper pay echelon of their firms? Using longitudinal employer–employee matched data for the entire Norwegian population, we address this question exploiting a series of reforms that expanded paid leave from 30 weeks in 1989 to 52 weeks in 1993. The representation of women in top positions has only moderately increased over time, and career profiles of female top earners within firms are significantly different from those of their male counterparts. The reforms did not affect, and possibly decreased, the probability for women to be at the top over their life cycle. We discuss some implications of this result to put into perspective the design of new family-friendly policy interventions.
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Pravna regulativa (pored socijalne i kulturne konstrukcije očinstva) u značajnoj mjeri utječe ne samo na ostvarivanje roditeljske uloge oca, već i na razvoj njegova identiteta. Ipak, pravni okvir kojima se uređuje ova pro-blematika umnogome ovisi o teorijskom pristupu od kojeg se polazi prilikom kreiranja normi. Zbog toga je u radu dan osvrt na različite teorijske pristupe u ostvarivanju roditeljskih prava, od kojih neki polaze od patrijarhalne podje-le uloga između oca i majke, koje su roditeljstvo izjednačivale s majčinstvom i negirale značaj oca u odgoju djeteta. S druge strane, teorije modernizacije polaze od promjena roditeljskih obrazaca, koji su uzrokovani promjenama na globalnoj razini, ekonomskom emancipacijom žena, koji su doveli do promje-ne vrijednosnoga sustava koji se temelji na slobodama pojedinca. Novi vri-jednosni sustav imao je za rezultat promjene u obiteljskim odnosima, odnosno doveo je do rodne simetrije i uspostavljanja fenomena »novoga očinstva«, koji podrazumijeva ravnomjerno uključivanje oca u sve aspekte odgajanja djeteta. Rad također upućuje na pravne akte Europske unije koji reguliraju uskla-đivanje profesionalnih i obiteljskih obaveza očeva, imajući u vidu da je rav-nopravnost muškaraca i žena u ostvarivanju prava jedno od temeljnih načela Europske unije koje je navedeno u aktima primarnoga zakonodavstva i u akti-ma sekundarnoga zakonodavstva. Međutim, Direktiva 2010/18 nije osigurala potpunu ravnopravnost oca i majke s obzirom na usklađivanje profesionalnih i obiteljskih obaveza, što je bio razlog za usvajanje nove Direktive 2019/1158, koja sadrži odredbe usmjerene na uspostavljanje ravnoteže između radnih i obiteljskih obveza. Nova je direktiva usvojena 20. lipnja 2019., a države čla-nice imaju rok za usklađivanje tri godine od njezina stupanja na snagu. Posebna se pozornost u radu pridaje karakteristikama prava na roditelj-ski dopust i očinsko odsustvo u državama EU-a. Rad sadrži usporedni pregled duljine prava na roditeljski dopust, mogućnost prijenosa prava na drugoga roditelja i njegovu plaćenost. Isto tako, napravljen je usporedni pregled du-ljine i plaćenosti očinskoga dopusta u državama EU-a te usporedba rješenja koja se odnose na roditeljski i očinski dopust s rješenjima sadržanima u novoj Direktivi.
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This study focuses on the role of parenthood ideologies on the micro and meso level as individual determinants to take up parental leave among fathers in Belgium. Belgian parental leave policies are characterized by a “laisser faire” mentality regarding the division of parental leave uptake. Based on in-depth interviews with 20 heterosexual couples our study highlights the impact of norms and values on the individual micro- level and social expectations on a contextual meso-level. We present six ideal-typical categories of fathers’ position towards the uptake of parental leave that are defined by synergies or conflicts between parenthood ideologies on different levels and are ultimately likely to determine the individual decision to take up parental leave. The six positions are: empowered parental leave takers, ideological crusaders, ideological renegades, ideological breadwinners, ideological explorers and empowered breadwinners.
Article
Why do younger cohorts in advanced democracies hold more conservative gender attitudes? Rather than understanding these attitudes as a “backlash,” I argue that these represent mixes of traditional and egalitarian attitudes that ultimately reflect the gendered character of family policies. Using an original dataset of family policies, I show that policies which alleviate care burdens and encourage workforce participation of mothers are related to support for working mothers. Conversely, policies which reinforce traditional divisions of labor are linked to greaterprevalence of essentialist beliefs. Different combinations of family policies cross-pressure gender attitudes, resulting in complex groupings, or “varieties of egalitarianism.”
Article
Prior studies that show no association between fathers’ work flexibility and their domestic contributions suffer from measurement limitations and/or the lack of nationally representative data. Using data on fathers in different-sex partnerships (n = 1,956) from the 2017–2018 American Time Use Survey Leave Module, we examine three indicators (use, frequency of use and reason for use) of working from home—a work–family benefit is known as flexplace—and consider whether partners’ employment status moderates the association between flexplace and fathers’ time in domestic labor. Fathers who use flexplace benefits report more routine childcare, regardless of the reason for flexplace use or their partners’ employment status. The association between flexplace use and fathers’ housework time is conditional on their partners’ employment status and fathers’ rationale for working from home.
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We conducted the first experimental tests of the impact of men's access to paid parental leave on anticipated well‐being among heterosexual men and women in the United States. Participants read a news article reporting that paid paternity leave was either likely or unlikely in the United States in the near future, completed a future life‐brainstorming task designed to make this scenario more salient, and reported anticipated outcomes pertaining to well‐being (predicted relationship satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, and life satisfaction). Results from an online sample (Experiment 1, N = 694) revealed that both men and women predicted more positive outcomes when they believed paid paternity leave would (vs. would not) exist. In contrast, results from students (Experiment 2, N = 199) revealed that women predicted better outcomes in the leave (vs. no leave) condition, while men predicted consistently positive outcomes regardless of condition. Looking at the interaction the other way, paternity leave closed a gender gap in anticipated well‐being favoring men. Exploratory analyses revealed that students anticipated increased relationship gender equality in division of labor as a result of paternity leave, but only in gender counter‐stereotypic domains (i.e., paid work outside the home for women; unpaid childcare and housework for men).
Thesis
Cette thèse propose quatre contributions sur les politiques familiales et leurs liens avec l’emploi des mères en Europe. Après un Chapitre 1 introductif, le Chapitre 2 présente les différents enjeux et dispositifs des politiques familiales en Europe. Le Chapitre 3 est centré sur la comparaison des pays européens en fonction des caractéristiques de leur système de politiques familiales. Le Chapitre 4 se concentre sur les facteurs influençant l’offre de travail des mères en Europe. Enfin le Chapitre 5 s’intéresse aux déterminants de la demande de différents types de services de garde d’enfants. Ainsi après avoir défini et présenté les politiques familiales européennes de façon globale dans le deuxième chapitre, nous mettons en avant l’hétérogénéité de ces programmes en Europe et proposons une méthode de classification dans le troisième chapitre. Dans le quatrième chapitre nous testons l’effet des caractéristiques individuelles, des politiques familiales ainsi que des normes de genre sur l’offre de travail des mères avant de terminer en nous intéressant à un seul type de politique, à savoir les services de garde d’enfants et le lien avec l’emploi des mères.
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Recent decades have seen an increase in women’s employment rates and an expansion of egalitarian values. Previous studies document the so-called “motherhood penalty,” which makes women’s employment more difficult. Demands for greater shared child-rearing between parents are hindered by a normative climate that supports differentiated gender roles in the family. Using data from the Center for Sociological Research [Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas] (2018), this study shows that the Spanish population perceives that differentiated social images of motherhood and fatherhood still persist. The “sexual division in parenting” index is proposed and the profile of the individuals who most perceive this sexual division is analyzed. The results show that women and younger people are the most aware of this social normativity that unequally distributes child care, making co-responsibility difficult. The political implications of these results are discussed.
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Americans do not always fully utilize available parental leave policies due (in part) to fear of a commitment penalty – where taking leave (or taking longer periods of leave) lowers perceptions of job commitment. Using a survey experiment (N = 1713) to identify whether organizational leave policies affect perceived job commitment, we find that leave-taking (and taking longer periods of leave) is negatively associated with perceived commitment. However, perceived commitment is higher when workers take leave under more favorable policies, and the effect of favorable policies on perceived commitment is greater for fathers than mothers. Overall, these results can help organizations design parental leave policies that increase the likelihood that workers can take needed leave without damaging their careers.
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The COVID-19 pandemic revealed, but did not create, the caregiving crisis in the United States: for most people, it was already a major ordeal to provide reproductive labor. The caregiving crisis was less visible before the pandemic because it was suffered unequally, in part due to the different positions of American women. Some women paid other women to do care work, women received differing sets of benefits from federal and state governments, and some women got far more support from their employers than did others. Pandemic-induced shocks, including the closure of K–12 schools and childcare centers, and reduced access to domestic workers and elder care workers, seemed to have triggered a closer alignment of perspectives and interests among diverse women. Although women’s demands for support seem to have pushed the Biden administration to propose more expansive family policies, stereotypes and norms that marginalize care work and care workers within families and across the economy also need to change to achieve equality for women.
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This chapter gives an overview of the current political context in the UK in which couples make their decisions (or, are compelled to make their decisions) around parenting in general, and parental leave in particular. The chapter also outlines the design of the study, and provides demographic information about the couples that make up the sample. At heart, the study is designed to investigate two contradictions: (1) the contradiction between ideal relationships and ideal parenting (as described in the previous chapter) and (2) the contradiction between expectation and reality before and after the birth of children.
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Successful career outcomes depend on maintaining positive relationships with and evaluations from supervisors and peers. Recognizing that structure frames behaviors and perceptions, this study explores the impact of organizational structure and practices on the relationships of 598 women in 298 Korean companies using longitudinal data from 2010 to 2016. The results from fixed-effects models show that corporate structure and practices shape female managers’ relationships with supervisors and peers. Gender equality practices improve relationships with both men and women. By contrast, diversity programs have negative effects on female managers’ relationships with female supervisors and peers, and work–life programs show mixed results. However, in firms with female executives and firms that encourage men to use parental leave, diversity programs and work–life practices stimulate positive relationships with both male and female supervisors and peers. This study suggests that organizational contexts, rather than intrinsic gender preferences, shape women’s relationships in the workplace.
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This study investigates how parental leave policies and uptake may impact heterosexual couples’ relationship satisfaction. It focuses on Germany as an example of a country with a history of familialist policies and long maternal leaves that has recently undergone a significant policy shift. We extend the literature by examining the effects of maternal and paternal leave duration on both partners’ relationship satisfaction while distinguishing between the length of solo, joint and overall leave. The study applies two different methods on data from the Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam). First, the study applies fixed-effects regression models ( n = 1046 couples) to investigate the impact of parental leave duration on the change in mothers’ and fathers’ satisfaction over the child’s early years. Second, drawing on exogenous variation as a result of the parental leave reform of 2007, which shortened paid leave for mothers and incentivised fathers’ leave take-up, difference-in-difference analyses ( n = 1403 couples) analyse reform effects on relationship satisfaction of parents with 3-year-old children. The fixed-effects models indicated a consistent negative impact of maternal – especially solo – leave duration on both mothers’ and fathers’ relationship satisfaction. No significant effects of paternal leave length were found. The difference-in-difference approach revealed a positive reform effect on mothers’ relationship satisfaction. In combination, these results suggest that the reduction in maternal leave as part of the reform has had a greater impact on couples’ relationship quality than the relatively short duration of leave taken by most fathers after the introduction of the individual leave entitlement.
Article
Work-family policies—such as parental leave and flextime—can help to facilitate gender equality in workplaces and in families. But policy use is typically low, varies significantly from one workplace to another, and is often more prevalent among women than men. Extant research suggests that flexibility stigma—workplace norms that penalize workers for utilizing policies that facilitate non-work demands—as well as the financial costs associated with policy use, contribute to this pattern. However, previous studies have been largely correlational in nature, and have had difficulty assessing how these factors may interact with one another to shape gendered patterns of policy use. In this study, we offer novel causal traction on this set of issues. Using an original, population-based survey experiment, we examine how the salience of flexibility stigma and financial costs affect men's and women's intentions to use work-family policies. We find that these factors exert a large direct effect on men's and women's intentions to use work-family policies. Moreover, the gender gap in parental leave use intentions is large in workplace contexts with high flexibility stigma and high financial costs, but this gap narrows significantly under more favorable conditions. Findings point to the importance of organizational contexts and policy design in shaping work-family policy use and, in turn, gender inequality.
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Fertility in Taiwan has been persistently low since 2003. Theorists have attributed this to gender inequity in domestic labour, yet this relationship has not been statistically tested. We assess the way in which the division of housework influences the probability of having an additional child. We assess this relationship for a sample of childbearing-aged married couples, as well as for education- and employment-specific subgroups. We find evidence of impacts for university-educated and working-mother couples, and when survey respondents are wives rather than husbands. The probability of a university-educated and working-mother couple with an equal division of housework having a child within five years is 0.73, whereas the probability of a couple with the mean division of housework having a child is 0.39. This finding is significant at the 1 per cent level.
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Background While there is increasing literature on the health effects of work–life interference, few studies have investigated the relationship between a direct measure of work–life interference and objective sickness absence measures. The aim of this study is to investigate whether work–life interference is a risk factor for subsequent long-term sickness absence (LTSA). Methods Data were derived from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. Data were linked to register data on LTSA (having at least one continuous period of medically certified sick leave exceeding 14 days) the following 2 years after each data collection wave. We applied generalized estimating equations, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The sample included 15 244 individuals (43.1% men and 56.9% women). Nearly a fifth of the sample (18.7%, n = 1110) started at least one period of LTSA at any point between 2010 and 2018. Results Work–life interference was found to be a risk factor for subsequent LTSA (OR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.44–1.67) even when adjusting for relevant factors including general health (OR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.29–1.51). We found no significant moderating effect of gender. Conclusion The results of this study indicate that work–life interference is a risk factor for subsequent LTSA for working men and women in Sweden.
Article
The theory of compensating wage differentials may explain part of the motherhood wage gap if mothers are more likely than childless women and men to make a trade-off between monetary and non-monetary rewards when looking for a job. Whereas previous studies focus primarily on jobs that employees currently hold, we present a more accurate test of this theory by studying the extent to which childless (wo)men, fathers and mothers trade off wages and family-friendly working conditions (flexibility, no overtime) in looking for a new job. Using a unique vignette experiment in four European countries (N = 7040), we find that the theory of compensating wage differentials is not supported. When presented with fictional job-openings that vary randomly on family-friendly working conditions and wages, mothers are not more likely than fathers or childless men and women to choose jobs with more family-friendly working conditions and lower pay. Instead, we find that mothers are more likely to apply for jobs with lower wages regardless of other job characteristics. These results suggest that the motherhood wage gap may not be explained by compensating wage differentials, but by mothers’ higher likelihood of applying for jobs with lower wages.
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Este trabajo tiene como objetivo comparar la brecha entre los valores de género y la práctica doméstica en el Reino Unido y España. Los datos se obtuvieron de una muestra de encuestados británicos y españoles, hombres y mu­jeres, en el módulo “Familia y cambio de roles de género” del Programa Internacional de Encuestas Sociales (ISSP 2002; 2012) y se utilizaron para crear modelos multivari­antes utilizando técnicas de regresión de mínimos cuadra­dos ordinarios. Los hallazgos sugieren que los valores de género afectan a las prácticas domésticas. Sin embargo, este efecto no se observó para el cuidado. Se encontró que el impacto de los valores de género en la división por sexo de las tareas domésticas era similar en el Reino Unido y España. También se observó un movimiento gradual ha­cia ideales más igualitarios en ambos países durante el período de 10 años estudiado. / This study aimed to compare the gap between gender role values and domestic practice in the UK and Spain. The data were drawn from a sample of British and Spanish male and female respondents to the International Social Survey Programme’s (ISSP) ‘Family and Changing Gender Roles’ module (2002, 2012) and used to create multivariate models using ordinary least-squares regression techniques. The findings suggest that gender role values impacts domestic practice: more time is devoted to housework by egalitarian than non-egalitarian men and less by egalitarian than non-egalitarian women. That effect was not observed for care-giving, however. The impact of gender values on the division by sex of household chores was found to be similar in the UK and Spain. A gradual move to more egalitarian ideals was also observed in both countries over the 10 year period studied.
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This article provides an overview of the issues needed in making causal inferences, when the generated data come from processes that are not controlled by the researcher. This overview serves as an introduction to the issues that have been discussed in detail by other researchers. This article emphasizes that the possible causes of these issues may include events, institutions, and policies. It also tries to determine if the science of comparative politics exists, by identifying the problem, the kinds of data, and the potential biases. Several historical studies are also provided.
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In this article, the authors explore how data on the use of time might be used to investigate the multilevel connections between family-related policies and fathers' child care time in a cross-national context. The authors present a case study analysis of “fathering strategies” in which empirical findings from time-use data are compared with detailed policy information from Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. These analyses show that time-use data can not only shed light on the effects of specific policies in different national contexts but also point to the need to consider the complexity of multiple policies and their adoption in specific national contexts across time. The authors describe the development of a cross-national, cross-time database that combines time-use data with relevant social and family policy information, with the aim of providing a multilevel research tool to those interested in exploring further the relationships between policy and family work.
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This article examines the role of institutionalized family policy in structuring attitudes towards female labour force participation in 13 industrialized countries. Two different perspectives on explaining the role of family policy institutions are distinguished. According to the first perspective, gender-role attitudes will differ cross-nationally according to the capacity of family policy institutions to reconcile work in the home with work in the paid labour force. According to the second perspective, institutions such as family policies can give rise to a certain collection of norms regarding the ‘proper’ role of women in society. Cross-national variation in family policies will, according to this perspective, have important implications for gender-role attitudes primarily because it will affect what is seen as normatively appropriate behaviour, rather then affecting the returns expected from alternative choices. The empirical analysis, using multilevel regression techniques on data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), indicates that variations in family policy models can contribute significantly to our understanding of cross-national variations in gender-role attitudes. It is also shown that the way gender-role attitudes are measured and conceptualized can have important implications for how cross-national differences in these attitudes are explained.
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In this article, we describe the social and economic changes that have contributed to contemporary problems of work–family conflict, gender inequality, and risks to children's healthy development. We draw on feminist welfare state scholarship to out-line an institutional arrangement that would support an earner–carer society—a social arrangement in which women and men engage symmetrically in paid work and unpaid caregiving and where young children have ample time with their parents. We present a blueprint for work–family reconciliation policies in three areas—paid family-leave provisions, working-time regulations, and early childhood education and care—and we identify key policy design principles. We describe and assess these work–family reconciliation policies as they operate in six European countries widely considered to be policy exemplars: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, and France. We close with an analysis of potential objections to these policies.
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Hunting Causes and Using Them: Approaches in Philosophy and Economics (HC&UT) is about notions of causality appropriate to the sciences, mostly generic causal claims (causal laws) and especially notions that connect causality with probability. 1 Most of the work for the book is associated with the project ‘Causality: Metaphysics and Methods’. This project argued that metaphysics – our account of what causal laws are or what general causal claims say – should march hand-in-hand with our ways of establishing them. It should be apparent, given the kind of thing we think causality is, why our methods are good for finding it. If our metaphysics does not mesh with and underwrite the methods, we are willing to trust, we should be wary of both. Many philosophers nowadays look for a single informative feature that characterizes causal laws. HC&UT argues instead for causal pluralism, for a large variety of kinds of causal laws as well as purposes for which we call scientific claims causal. Correlatively different methods for testing causal claims are suited to different kinds of causal laws. No one analysis is privileged and no methods are universally applicable. Much of the argument for pluralism is provided by authors of different accounts of causality, who provide intuitively plausible counter-examples to each other. Still, most of these accounts seem adequate for the kinds of examples the authors focus on. From the point of view of HC&UT, these examples involve different kinds of causal laws or set causality to different jobs, and the concomitant characterizing feature marks out this one kind of causal law. Importantly for the argument, often we can specify what characteristics a system of laws should have in order for an account/method pair to be applicable. An example is James Woodward’s level invariance, which I see as a …
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Using survey data from Norway and Sweden, we assess people’s attitudes towards gender equality. Previous studies argue that these attitudes are more egalitarian in Sweden than in Norway. Similar to previous research, we find that Swedes are more positive towards gender equality in general. However, we find no differences regarding views on egalitarian sharing of household responsibilities, and Norwegians are actually more supportive of government intervention to increase gender equality. This suggests that the lower support for gender equality in Norway is less robust than previously thought and that there is a larger scope for advancing the gender revolution in Norway via government policies than in Sweden.
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This chapter addresses the question: what is the likelihood of changing gender relations with the help of welfare policies such as parental leave? The chapter is concerned with the politicising of fatherhood, and compares the current entitlements of fathers for taking parental leave in five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark). It then uses a review of Nordic studies to examine the socioeconomic and cultural conditions that are affecting the take-up of leave possibilities. It also considers negotiations of gender relations in the daily life of families and workplaces.
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The article examines the goals and ideologies of Swedish arrangements for parental leave and public child care for working parents. Two important goals are gender equality in work, and gender equality in family life and child welfare. It is argued that gender equality has been advanced to some extent as women have been able to integrate paid work into their lives. The choice of taking parental leave is, however, more conditional for men, and it is taken for granted that women take on the lion's share. It is concluded that the reform is more of a farsighted welfare policy for children than a policy for promoting gender equality.
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'Ferrarini ambitiously unpacks the origins and operation of family policies in 18 welfare democracies over the last quarter of the 20th century. He does so to discover not only how policies evolved by how they impact individuals in these democracies, especially with respect to fertility, labor force participation, and gender role attitudes.... Highly recommended.'
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This paper presents a policy analysis of fathers' use of paternity leave, parental leave and flexible work practices across several industrialised countries. From the late 1990s there has been a rapid expansion of leave and flexible working provision targeted at fathers, especially in the Nordic countries. New evidence on predictors and patterns of fathers' leave taking are reviewed. Findings suggest that paternal leave taking has the potential to boost fathers' practical and emotional investment in infant care.
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By situating men within the country and time period in which they live, social scientists are better able to understand men's housework and child care behaviors. The author proposes that national context, conceptualized here as women's employment practices and policies, influences men's unpaid work behaviors by shaping the benefits of specialization, the terms of bargaining, and the ease of adhering to gender ideologies and norms. Using 44 time-use surveys from 20 countries (spanning 1965 to 2003) combined with original national-level data, the author utilizes multilevel models to test hypotheses regarding the relationship between national context and men's unpaid work behaviors. She finds that men's unpaid work time increases with national levels of women's employment. Furthermore, the effect of children on men's unpaid work time depends on women's national employment hours, the length of available parental leave, and men's eligibility to take parental leave, which indicates that particular public policies affect men in specific household situations. The analyses document the importance of national context for the unpaid work behaviors of all men, especially fathers, and shift the research focus from the attributes of individual men to the structures that hinder and facilitate men's unpaid work.
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While most previous studies focus on the effects of individuals' and couples' characteristics on the division of housework, this study argues that macro-level factors are equally important in the dynamics of housework distribution between spouses. Data from the 1994 International Social Survey Programme is used to examine whether macro-level gender inequality limits the effect of individual-level variables (relative resources, time availability, and gender ideology) on the division of housework in 22 industrialized countries. The results show that the equalizing effects of time availability and gender ideology are stronger for women in more egalitarian countries; women in less egalitarian countries benefit less from their individual-level assets. Additional analysis shows that other macro-level factors (economic development, female labor-force participation, gender norms, and welfare regimes) may also influence the division of housework. The results suggest that changes in individual-level factors may not be enough to achieve an equal division of housework without the reduction of macro-level gender inequality.
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This paper analyses the relationship between country-level gender empowerment and individual-level divisions of housework. Pairing the 2004 United Nations gender empowerment measure (GEM) with individual-level (n=18,560) data from the 2004 European Social Survey, the author compares the relationship between a country’s GEM score, both as an index and as disaggregated measures, and respondents’ housework hours and housework proportions. The GEM index has a positive and linear relationship with men’s housework hours and a positive and non-linear relationship with men and women’s housework proportions and with women’s housework hours. For the disaggregated GEM measures, women’s representation in parliament is positively associated with men’s housework hours and proportions and women’s housework hours. Women’s labor market status, including the percent of women in professional positions and female–male wage ratios, is negatively associated with women’s housework hours and proportions. Finally, the cross-level interactions demonstrate theoretically important relationships to the housework literature.
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In Sweden, government-mandated paid parental leave has been available to both mothers and fathers since 1974. By 2006, each parent had two non-transferable leave months and nine additional months to share. From the beginning, parental leave was presented as a policy designed to promote gender equality, with women and men having equal opportunities and responsibilities to contribute economically to the family and care for children. Sweden thus provides a unique setting to explore whether social policy can be an important instrument for changing the gender contract. Analysing survey data from 356 fathers working in large private companies, we found that the amount of parental leave days taken had positive effects on several aspects of fathers’ participation in childcare and on their satisfaction with contact with children, controlling for other factors contributing to fathers’ participation in childcare. Our findings suggest that the full potential of Sweden's parental leave policy for degendering the division of labour for childcare will not likely be met until fathers are strongly encouraged by social policy to take a more equal portion of parental leave.
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In the Nordic countries, gender equality is an explicit policy goal. For example, Norway and Sweden both offer paid parental leave for approximately one year following childbirth with earnings-related benefits and with certain periods reserved exclusively for the father. In this study, we examine the relationship between fathers’ and mothers’ use of parental leave and continued childbearing among couples in Norway and Sweden. The two countries offer largely similar family policies, but differ concerning family policy context. While Sweden has a consistent policy concerning gender relations, Norway has more ambiguous family policies giving incentives both to gender equality and childrearing at home. Our study is based on event-history analyses of Nordic register data and shows that fathers’ parental leave use is positively associated with continued childbearing in both Norway and Sweden, for both one- and two-child couples. The association is stronger in Norway. For two-child families, a long period of leave for the mother is positively associated with a third birth. It seems as if the two-child family is highly compatible with the combination of work and family life, but that in families who choose to have more children, the mother often seems to have a weaker work orientation.
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Comparative research has provided valuable insights into stratification processes; however, the focus has been on the labour market or economic inequalities. This study examines stratification in the home by looking at the division of household labour. Using data from the 1994 International Social Survey Program (ISSP), I investigate the division of household labour in 10 countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, United States; n = 4799). Analyses indicate that micro-level processes such as time availability, relative resources and gender ideology are important determinants of division of housework. Grouping the countries into liberal, conservative and social-democratic welfare state regimes, however, suggests macro-level differences in the division of labour across regimes that cannot be explained by differences in levels of individual characteristics. Equal sharing of housework by both partners is rare in conservative countries, regardless of their relative resources, time availability and gender ideology, suggesting that the division of labour at home is not only negotiated by two partners, but also shaped by contextual factors.
Article
By focusing on how national context and individual factors affect spouses’ absolute and relative contributions, social scientists are better able to understand couples’ organising and sharing of housework. Previous studies have suggested a linkage between female empowerment and the division of housework; however, documented effects have proven inconsistent. The authors propose that a less pronounced cross-national pattern for relative efforts reflects the fact that national context affect wives’ and husbands’ total involvement in the same direction. A reinterpretation of the ‘discount’ hypothesis is also suggested, relating interaction effects for relative efforts to non-interaction for spouses’ total contributions. Moreover, extending the causal model to include economic development as a macro-level explanatory variable permits a nuanced account of how different aspects of national context affect wives’ and husbands’ housework decisions. Within this extended framework the initially weak female empowerment - relative division linkage appears stronger. Based on a multilevel analysis of recently released data from 34 countries in the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), this article, on a wider basis than hitherto possible, jointly analyses spouses’ absolute and relative contributions, and investigates the interplay between macro-level forces and individual-level factors in influencing couples’ domestic labour.
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European states vary in eldercare policies and in gendered norms of family care, and this study uses these variations to gain insight into the importance of macro-level factors for the work-care relationship. Using advanced panel data methods on European Community Household Panel (ECHP) data for 1994-2001, this study finds women's employment to be negatively associated with informal caregiving to the elderly across the European Union. For the countries included in the study, the effects of informal caregiving seem to be more negative in Southern Europe, less negative in Nordic countries, and in between these extremes in Central Europe. This study explains that since eldercare is a choice in countries with more formal care and less pronounced gendered care norms, the weaker impact of eldercare on women's employment in these countries has to do with the lesser degree of coercion in the caring decision.
Article
In 1998 a new cash benefit for parents with young children was introduced in Norway. Its purpose was to provide a cash payment to parents who either preferred to care for their children at home or to compensate those who were not offered external childcare provision. It has been argued that the new policy encouraged women to stay at home with their children, possibly reducing labour supply. The policy was consequently considered gender-biased, creating reduced incentives for women to participate in the labour market and therefore encouraging a more traditional division of labour of husbands and wives. Given this background of the policy, we undertake an analysis in two parts. We ask first the question "who takes the cash benefit?" Second, by applying simple matching techniques, we ask the question "Do couples taking the benefit behave differently in terms of their fertility timing?" Using information from Norwegian registers we find that more traditional households (in a broad sense) are more likely to take the cash benefit. Those taking the benefit accelerate childbearing significantly, though the reasons why they do so varies by socio-economic groups.
Article
We analyze the effects of social policy regarding women’s employment and work-family conflict on the division of household labor in 33 countries. We classify policies according to Chang’s (2000) equality of access (affirmative action and absence of discriminatory policy) and substantive benefits (parental leave and childcare services). Results show that countries without prohibitions against certain types of employment for women, and those with longer parental leave policies, exhibit a more egalitarian gender division of housework. Further, women’s fulltime employment and higher income have stronger effects on the gender division of housework in countries with greater equality of access policies. However, longer parental leave policy is associated with weaker effects of women’s full-time employment. The findings suggest that social policies affect not only the overall gender division of housework, but also the dynamics of micro-level negotiations. Such policies may contribute to the context in which gender roles in the labor market and in the family are defined.
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Hunting Causes and Using Them argues that causation is not one thing, as commonly assumed, but many. There is a huge variety of causal relations, each with different characterizing features, different methods for discovery and different uses to which it can be put. In this collection of new and previously published essays, Nancy Cartwright provides a critical survey of philosophical and economic literature on causality, with a special focus on the currently fashionable Bayes-nets and invariance methods - and it exposes a huge gap in that literature. Almost every account treats either exclusively how to hunt causes or how to use them. But where is the bridge between? It's no good knowing how to warrant a causal claim if we don't know what we can do with that claim once we have it. This book will interest philosophers, economists and social scientists.
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In June 1996, the EU directive on parental leave came into force. A major consideration in the introduction of this directive was its advantages for the reconciliation of work and family life. However, there is little systematic knowledge about the practical significance of parental leave arrangements in the European Union for equal opportunities policy. Given this situation, the main focus of this article is on empirical issues such as the number of (male and female) leavetakers and the length of the leave. In order to present comparative data, a user rate is calculated for eight European countries. It appears that the majority of leavetakers are women; even in Nordic countries there are big differences between the user rates of men and women. As a result, the importance of the actual parental leave arrangements for equal opportunities seems rather dubious.
Article
National context may influence sex segregation of household tasks through both pragmatic decision making and the normative context in which decision making is embedded. This study utilizes 36 time use surveys from 19 countries (spanning 1965-2003) combined with original national-level data in multilevel models to examine household task segregation. Analyses reveal that men do less and women do more time-inflexible housework in nations where work hours and parental leave are long. Women do less of this work where there is more public child care and men are eligible to take parental leave. National context affects the character of gender inequality in the home through individual- and national-level pathways.
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This paper addresses the issue of why comparative research on welfare state attitudes has failed to establish a link between welfare regimes and popular support for redistribution. Several limitations in the existing literature regarding the dependent variable, the operationalisation of welfare regimes, how the relationship between regimes and attitudes is identified, and the methods used are proposed as reasons why no link between regimes and attitudes has been found. An alternative approach is developed in which welfare regimes are operationalised using a range of theoretically defining characteristics, e.g. total public social spending, benefit generosity, and the weight of social services relative to total public social expenditure. Using data on 13 Western European countries from the first two waves of the European Social Survey, the empirical analysis provides mixed support for the hypothesized relationship between welfare regimes and support for redistribution. Several suggestions for future research are also discussed.
Article
Many countries are trying to incentivize fathers to increase their share in parental leave and in household work to improve female labor market opportunities. Our unique data set stems from a natural experiment in Sweden. The data comprises all children born before (control group) and after the reform (treatment group) in cohorts of up to 27,000 newborns, mothers and fathers. We find strong short term effects of incentives on male parental leave. However, we find no learning-by doing, or specialization, effects: fathers in the treatment group do not have larger shares in the leave taken for care of sick children, which is our measure for household work.
Article
Historically, there is clear evidence of an inverse relationship between female labour supply and fertility. However, the relationship across countries is now positive. Countries like Germany and Italy, with the lowest fertility, also have the lowest female participation rates. This paper analyses the extent to which this can be explained by public policy, in particular taxation and the system of child support. The results suggest that countries which have individual rather than joint taxation, and which support families through child care facilities rather than child payments, are likely to have both higher female labour supply and higher fertility. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics", 2004 .
Article
We link population register data to information on regional child care characteristics in order to estimate the influence of the latter on second and third birth intensities of Swedish couples in 1997-98. Our analysis allows us to distinguish interactions and specific effects of different dimensions of the local day-care infrastructure, namely the provision rate, the child-to-staff-ratio, and the costs of care to parents. However, our results reveal no clear effects of these child care characteristics on Swedish couples’ continued childbearing. We interpret this absence of effects as a reflection of the generally very appropriate level of child care in Sweden, which is complemented by further supportive family policies. In such a context, moderate regional variations in the characteristics of day care may have no decisive impact on parents’ propensity to have another child.
Nordic men on parental leave: can the welfare state change gender relations Politicizing parenthood in Scandinavia: gender relations in welfare states. The Policy Press
  • J Lammi-Taskula
Lammi-Taskula, J., 2006. Nordic men on parental leave: can the welfare state change gender relations. In: Elingsaeter, Anne Lise, Leira, Arnlaug (Eds.), Politicizing parenthood in Scandinavia: gender relations in welfare states. The Policy Press, Bristol. O'Brien, M., Brandth, B., Kvande, E., 2007. Community, Work & Family 10 (4), 375–386.
Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference The role of family policy institutions in explaining gender-role attitudes: a comparative multilevel analysis of thirteen industrialized countries
  • W Shadish
  • T Cook
  • D Campell
Shadish, W., Cook, T., Campell, D., 2002. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. Sjöberg, O., 2004. The role of family policy institutions in explaining gender-role attitudes: a comparative multilevel analysis of thirteen industrialized countries. Journal of European Social Policy 14 (2), 107–123.
Parental Leave – A Policy Evaluation of the Swedish ''Daddy-Month'' Reform, IZA Discussion Paper No Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism
  • J Ekberg
  • R Eriksson
  • G Friebel
Ekberg, J., Eriksson, R., Friebel, G., 2005. Parental Leave – A Policy Evaluation of the Swedish ''Daddy-Month'' Reform, IZA Discussion Paper No. 1617 2005. Esping-Andersen, G., 1990. Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Polity, Cambridge.
Omsorgspermison med ''kjaerlig tvang
  • B Brandth
  • B Øverli
Brandth, B., Øverli, B., 1998. Omsorgspermison med ''kjaerlig tvang''. En kartlegging av fedrekvoten [Parental leave with ''caring force''. A survey of the daddy quota].
Policy Feedbacks and the Political Mobilization of
  • A L Campbell
Campbell, A.L., 2006. Policy Feedbacks and the Political Mobilization of Mass Publics. MiT.
  • O 'brien
  • M Brandth
  • B Kvande
O'Brien, M., Brandth, B., Kvande, E., 2007. Community, Work & Family 10 (4), 375–386.
  • M O'brien
  • B Brandth
  • E Kvande
O'Brien, M., Brandth, B., Kvande, E., 2007. Community, Work & Family 10 (4), 375-386.
Omsorgspermison med “kjærlig tvang”. En kartlegging av fedrekvoten [Parental leave with “caring force”. A survey of the daddy quota
  • B Brandth
  • B Øverli