Nordic parental leave: recipe for high employment/high fertility?

MEMORANDUM No 1:2007

Nordic parental leave: recipe for high employment/high fertility?

By Anne Lise Ellingsæter, University of Oslo

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Predicted future labour shortages in European welfare states are drawing attention to political strategies that may increase women’ employment and fertility rates. In this context, the Nordic situation is remarkable. These countries’ blend of high female employment rates and relatively high fertility levels is correlated with comprehensive family policies, indicating that policy reform might be the solution to economic and demographic challenges. Leave arrangements for parents are a core element in Nordic family policy, and this paper scrutinises the specific role of such policies in causing the rather advantageous Nordic situation. To what extent can similar employment and fertility levels be explained by similar leave arrangements?

By Matthew Whiting
Published Oct. 10, 2010 11:19 AM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2010 8:44 AM