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Is there such a thing as too long childcare leave?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2017 (English)In: International journal of sociology and social policy, ISSN 0144-333X, E-ISSN 1758-6720, Vol. 37, no 1-2, 2-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to revisit the question whether women’s employment is negatively affected in countries with very long periods of childcare leave.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyzed data on 192,484 individual women, 305 country-years, and 18-countries, combined with country-level data on childcare, unemployment and service sector size.

Findings

The authors found that in countries with short periods of childcare leave the motherhood-employment gap is smaller than in countries with no childcare leave, while in countries with long periods of childcare leave the motherhood-employment gap is bigger than with short periods of leave.

Originality/value

The authors argued that to correctly answer the long-leave question – the relationship between duration of leave and employment of women should be explicitly hypothesized as being curvilinear; and childcare leave should be expected to affect only mothers, not women without children; testing the long-leave hypothesis requires the use of country-comparative data in which countries are observed repeatedly over time; and is best tested against person-level data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 37, no 1-2, 2-15 p.
Keyword [en]
Employment, Public policy, Social policy, Childcare leave, Gender
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140436DOI: 10.1108/IJSSP-07-2015-0074ISI: 000398483800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140436DiVA: diva2:1079117
Available from: 2017-03-07 Created: 2017-03-07 Last updated: 2017-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Nieuwenhuis, Rense
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