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The parental leave insurance in Sweden: A study of the causal effects on average parental leave use by the gender equality bonus reforms in 2008 and 2012
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]

This paper analyses if the gender equality bonus have any causal effects on average parental leave use. There are two reforms concerning the gender equality bonus. The first is the introduction of the bonus in 2008 and the second is the simplification of the bonus in 2012. Medium-term effects is studied on the first reform and short-term effects on the second. Further, this paper also investigates if there are any indirect differences between high income earners and non-high income earners in their average distribution of parental leave. In this thesis a difference-in-differences approach is used with control and treatment groups right before and after the policy changes. The results indicate that the 2008-reform does not have statistical significant causal effects on average parental leave, even on medium-term. The results are persistent when the studied population is divided into high- and non-high income earners. The reform in 2012 consists of the simplification of the bonus and in addition also the double days, therefore only a net effect of the reform could be estimated. The analysis made for the second reform does indicate significant causal effects on average parental leave use. The result shows that mothers and fathers have statistically increased and decreased their average parental leave on 5 and 10 percent significant level, respectively. This result contradicts to the expectations. If the gender equality bonus would have a causal effect on encouraging parents to share the leave more equally, the opposite results is expected. Analyzing the parents separately, conditioned on their income levels, the non-high income group suggests no statistical significant causal effects on average leave for neither mothers nor fathers. For the high income group, there is a significant increase of mothers’ average use of parental leave by around four percentage points. The significant increase for mothers average parental leave use due to the reform in 2012 is more likely to be explained by the double days rather than the gender equality bonus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
parental leave, gender equality, short- and medium-term effects, policy evaluation
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256682OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-256682DiVA: diva2:826287
Available from: 2015-06-25 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2015-06-25Bibliographically approved

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