Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research

No 3/2004: Sharing Responsibility? Short- and Long-term Effects of Sweden's "Daddy-Month" Reform

John Ekberg (), Rickard Eriksson () and Guido Friebel ()
Additional contact information
John Ekberg: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Rickard Eriksson: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, Postal: SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Guido Friebel: EHESS and IDEI, University of Toulouse, Postal: IDED, Université de Toulouse 1, Manufacture des Tabacs, 21 allée de Brienne, France – 31000 Toulouse

Abstract: In 1995, the Swedish government reformed the parental leave system with the view to increase the share of fathers in child care, change gender roles in society, and improve the chances of mothers in the labor market. We investigate a unique data set comprising the entire population of Swedish children born in a span of two weeks before and two weeks after the reform. The reform constitutes a natural experiment. Comparing two cohorts of a total of 7600 newborns, their mothers, and fathers over a period of eight years, we look at a) the number of days mothers and fathers take parental leave and b) the number of days for care of sick children. We find that the reform had a strong short-term effect on parental leave by fathers, but that there are no long-run effects on fathers' willingness to increase their part in care for sick children.

Keywords: Gender; Labor market; Natural Experiment; Policy Evaluations

24 pages, May 12, 2004

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