Norway: the evolution of a Scandinavian earner–carer model

In this article Anne Lise Ellingsæter investigates how the evolution of the emerging earner–carer models in Norway have changed over time.


The emerging earner–carer models of the Nordic welfare states, aimed at the equal engagement of mothers and fathers in paid and unpaid work, have gained extensive attention and been an exemplar in much policy debate. However, these earner–carer models have emerged through complex processes over several decades, and this chapter investigates the evolution of the Norwegian variety of the models. What makes this model particularly notable is that it has been categorized as a hybrid, combining dual-earner support with traditional breadwinner elements, by some scholars seen as part of a more general divergence from the Scandinavian model of gender and welfare.

The main question addressed is how manifestations of this hybridity have changed over time, and whether it continues to be a defining model feature. To shed light on this process, main family policy reforms since the mid-1970s are traced: paid parental leave, childcare services and cash for childcare benefits. The emphasis is on positions taken by political parties and ideas activated in reform initiatives, as reflected in policy documents. Side glances to other Nordic countries locate particularities of the Norwegian path.


The article is published in the book Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Published Nov. 14, 2018 10:18 AM - Last modified Jan. 4, 2021 11:26 AM