Working paper 2015:2 Publicerad 2015-05-01

Reforms in the Swedish parental leave system and their effects on gender equality

The father’s quota in the Swedish parental leave system aims at increasing fathers’ leave use but also gender equality in the home sphere and in the labor market.

This study investigates the effects of the reform of one month reserved for fathers in 1995 and two months in 2002. We use parental benefit for the care for sick children as a proxy for division in the home, and the results indicate that the first reform led to a more equal sharing of care for sick children, mainly as women who had used a lot of benefit days earlier on reduced their use. Moreover, after the second reform women had better income development, especially women who had earlier had very low income, indicating an increased labor supply rather than a wage increase. The results indicate that the father’s quota at least in part also fulfilled the aim of gender equality outside the parental leave system.