Does Gender Equality Lead to Higher Fertility? A Study of the Effect of Fathers' Use of Parental Leave on Continued Childbearing in Sweden

Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University
Li Ma, Stockholm University
Ann-Zofie Duvander, Stockholm University
Marie M. Evertsson, Swedish Institute for Social Research

In this study we examine the extent to which more gender equality at the couple level is positively related to the propensity to have another child. The study is based on event-history analyses of Swedish population-register data. Our indicator of gender equality is the father’s uptake of parental leave after the birth of a first or second child. Our setting is Sweden, a country with a generous parental-leave system and where policies encourage fathers to become more strongly involved in childrearing. We present models that show how various socio-demographic factors relate to longer leave use of fathers and we present models that show how fathers leave use is related to subsequent couple fertility. Longer uptake of paternal leave is associated with elevated second-birth risks. To detect causality in this association, we estimate a multi-process model where we control for unobserved characteristics related to both leave use and higher-order fertility.

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Presented in Poster Session 4