Nordic Family Policy and Continued Fertility

Trude Lappegård, Statistics Norway
Ann-Zofie Duvander, Stockholm University
Synøve N. Andersen, Statistics Norway
Olof Gardarsdottir, University of Iceland
Gerda R. Neyer, Stockholm University
Ida Viklund, Stockholm University

Nordic family policy aims at gender equal division of childcare and economic responsibility. How such policies are related to fertility is of high interest in low-fertility countries. In this study we ask how different use of parental leave is related to continued childbearing in the Nordic countries. The major argument for why fathers’ participation in parental leave use would increase fertility is that more gender equal in the family would ease women’s work-burden at home and thus enhance the degree of compatibility between childrearing and female employment, thereby making it easier to realize childbearing plans. Using unique data covering the total population in Iceland, Sweden and Norway we consider cross-national variations in the relation of parental leave use and continued fertility. Our research design does not distinguish selection from causal effect, but comparing three similar countries opens for stronger conclusions about the relationship between specific parental leave regulations and childbearing.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors