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Fathers and Mothers Taking Leave from Paid Work to Care for a Child: Economic Considerations and Occupational Conditions of Work
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

While most types of unpaid work have become considerably more equally divided over decades, child care that requires leave from paid work is still extremely gender specialized. Understanding conditions of paid work that can make leave-taking for both parents possible is crucial to halt the onset of gender specialization in couples. In this study, Sweden is utilized as a context in which the family policy constellation provides a real opportunity for both fathers’ and mothers’ leave-taking. The number of parental leave weeks taken by the father and the mother in the first two years of the child’s life is analyzed using administrative register data for 29,366 couples having their first child in 2009. Multi-level cross-classified models with each couple nested in 112 father and 111 mother occupations are used to estimate effects of conditions of work that have been hypothesized to hinder fathers’ leave-taking. Career costs, job insecurity and flexibility explained little variation in father leave. The strongest predictor was the father’s occupational skill level, i.e., the higher the skill level required for the occupation, the more leave fathers take. As would be expected from gendered norms and behavior and resulting gendered assumptions of care at the workplace, some of the conditions of work favorable for mothers’ leave-taking are not transferrable to fathers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2018. , p. 35
Series
Stockholm Research Reports in Demography, ISSN 0281-8728, E-ISSN 2002-617X ; 2018:12
Keywords [en]
child care, parental leave, Sweden, occupations, multi-level modelling Stockholm
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154649DOI: 10.17045/sthlmuni.6079724.v1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154649DiVA, id: diva2:1194922
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 349-2007-8701Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164Available from: 2018-04-04 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-08-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies on Parental Leave and Co-residence using Swedish Register Data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies on Parental Leave and Co-residence using Swedish Register Data
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the two primary life-course events that create and accelerate gender inequality within the couple -- the transition to parenthood and parental separation -- may ameliorate their far-reaching consequences over the life-course in multiple domains of life. This thesis includes four studies on various aspects of these life-course events. The first two studies investigate division of child care at the transition to parenthood. A gender equal transition to parenthood, in which both women and men take leave off work to care for their children, is essential for couples to achieve gender equality in the family as well as in the labor market. Study I investigates the ways in which Swedish couples do such ‘dual-caring’ and shows that the dominant trajectory of dual care is characterized by taking turns as the child’s primary caregiver. Study II investigates how the domain of paid work may hinder or facilitate a gender equal transition to parenthood, focusing on economic considerations and occupational conditions of work. Study III investigates gendered division of care leave taken after couples have returned to paid work. It shows that economic differentials within the couple may shape the onset of long-term division of child care but that short-term economic incentives do not seem to alter the division. Study IV turns to parental separation as the second life-course event in which gender inequality is accelerated. As children have been most likely to live with their mothers when their parents’ union ends, parental separation typically marks the (possible) second life-course event in which unpaid work is shifted towards women. Study IV provides a method for estimating parental separation with register data and therefore making possible studies of outcomes for mothers, fathers and children who live apart.

 

All studies use administrative register data. These data provide a unique source of couple-level longitudinal information on all parental couples registered in Sweden. The first two studies are made possible by the availability of dated information on parental leave use. The third study accurately traces division of care leave by income composition within the couple. The last study traces parental coresidence from birth to age 15 for a period of almost four decades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 35
Series
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 17
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154651 (URN)978-91-7797-266-2 (ISBN)978-91-7797-267-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-18, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 349-2007-8701Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164
Available from: 2018-04-25 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-04-16Bibliographically approved

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