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Article

Similar Negotiations over Childcare? A Comparative Study of Fathers’ Parental Leave Use in Finland and Sweden

1
Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), 00271 Helsinki, Finland
3
The Social Insurance Institution (Kela), 00056 Kela, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Societies 2021, 11(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11030067
Received: 3 May 2021 / Revised: 10 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 June 2021 / Published: 24 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender (In)Equality and Childcare: Policies and Practices)
Fathers’ leave use is promoted in many countries, but so far with different success. Major explanations of different usage revolve around economic bargaining between parents and economic constraints in the household. By using extensive register data from 1999–2009 in Finland and Sweden, this study asks whether fathers’ use of parental leave in the two countries is determined by the same socioeconomic characteristics on the individual and the household level once we control for sociodemographic factors. Striking similarities in what influences fathers’ use of leave in the two contexts are found, even though leave is used at very different levels and the policy design differs remarkably. Generally, fathers with a similar income level to the mother use leave the most, but in high-income households the mother’s higher income leads to the highest propensity of fathers’ leave take-up. The results indicate that equal bargaining positions are associated with fathers’ leave use but also that mothers’ stronger position often facilitates fathers’ leave. We conclude that the role of gendered bargaining positions should be studied in interaction with the level of resources in the household. View Full-Text
Keywords: parental leave; Finland; Sweden; fathers; childcare; family policy; gender equality parental leave; Finland; Sweden; fathers; childcare; family policy; gender equality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Duvander, A.-Z.; Mussino, E.; Tervola, J. Similar Negotiations over Childcare? A Comparative Study of Fathers’ Parental Leave Use in Finland and Sweden. Societies 2021, 11, 67. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11030067

AMA Style

Duvander A-Z, Mussino E, Tervola J. Similar Negotiations over Childcare? A Comparative Study of Fathers’ Parental Leave Use in Finland and Sweden. Societies. 2021; 11(3):67. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11030067

Chicago/Turabian Style

Duvander, Ann-Zofie, Eleonora Mussino, and Jussi Tervola. 2021. "Similar Negotiations over Childcare? A Comparative Study of Fathers’ Parental Leave Use in Finland and Sweden" Societies 11, no. 3: 67. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11030067

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