Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2013:2: Employment protection and parental child care

Martin Olsson ()
Additional contact information
Martin Olsson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: I examine if employment protection affects parental childcare. I find that a softer employment protection has a substantial effect on how parents use and divide paid childcare between them. The identification relies on a reform that made it easier for employers in Sweden to dismiss workers in small firms. I estimate that a softer employment protection reduces the total days of parental childcare in targeted firms, measured as total days of parental leave or temporary parental leave. Both a sorting effect and a behavioral effect can explain the reduced childcare. I also find evidence of a redistribution effect of paid parental childcare within households if only one partner was affected by the reform. I interpret the redistribution effect as a way of evading an external cost on the child.

Keywords: Employment protection; parental childcare; within family distribution

JEL-codes: J13; K13

36 pages, January 14, 2013

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