Time for Fathers? the Politics of Paternity/Parental Leave Policy in Cross-National Comparative Perspective

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Cassandra ENGEMAN, Stockholm University, Sweden
When are fathers recognized as care-givers under leave law? Since the 1970s many affluent democracies have extended paid leave rights to fathers by adopting paternity and dual parental leave policies. Such policy change suggests a “path shift” from breadwinner to earner-carer family policy models. This shift is important, because social policies that grant time-off from work to care for new children affect public health and family economic well-being and matter to women’s political and economic equality. Despite considerable cross-country differences in leave generosity and the timing of leave policy adoption, large-scale quantitative analyses on the sources of family policy are surprisingly rare. This paper reports new research estimating the impact of structural pressures, institutions, power resources and, to the extent that data allow, normative beliefs on the timing of paternity/parental leave policy adoption from 1976 to 2016 across 22 affluent democracies using discrete-time event history methods. The unique data set draws on multiple sources and the author’s compilation of paid and unpaid paternity and parental leave policy histories.