Abstract It has been argued that a generous family policy aimed at a gender-equal division of childcare and economic responsibility will have a positive impact on childbearing. In this study, we investigate whether fathers’ parental leave use is related to continued childbearing and whether there has been a policy effect on fertility behavior due to the introduction of the father’s quota in Norway and Sweden. Fathers’ parental leave use may affect fertility by easing women’s work burden at home and thus enhancing the degree of compatibility between childrearing and female employment, and it may increase fathers’ interest in children and childcare. To distinguish causality from selection in the effects observed, we use the natural experiment of the introduction of the father’s quotas. The results indicate that the reforms did not influence fertility in Norway but that Swedish couples with a lower income had a temporary higher third-birth risk. Fathers in this group showed the greatest increase in leave use after the reform.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International