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Parenthood and Sickness Absence: A comparative analysis between opposite-sex and same-sex couples
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Earlier studies have concluded that entering parenthood induces higher sickness absence among birthmothers as compared to their partners in opposite-sex couples. Increased household commitment, causing birthmothers to reduce their labor supply after entering parenthood is suggested to cause this increase of the female sickness absence in opposite-sex couples. Some researchers argue that the labor supply decisions in opposite-sex couples are based on comparative advantages. Other researchers argue that gender identities are of greater importance in explaining the labor supply decisions. The aim with this study is to investigate whether gender composition matters for how parenthood affects the within-couple gap in sickness absence. The within-couple income and sickness absence gap in opposite-sex and female same-sex couples entering parenthood are studied. The effect of parenthood on the within-couple income gap and sickness absence gap are estimated using ordinary least squares in a difference-in-differences setting. Analogous to other studies, I find that birthmothers’ sickness absence generally increases in opposite-sex couples after couples have their first child. Additionally, I find that parenthood does not induce a generally higher sickness absence among birthmothers or partners in same-sex couples. Eligible sharing of household commitment, allowing a relatively higher labor market attachment among both birthmothers and partners in same-sex couples appears to be the main explanation to why same-sex couples do not experience a higher level of sickness absence.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256368OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-256368DiVA: diva2:825111
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-23 Last updated: 2015-10-13Bibliographically approved

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