Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 139–159 | Cite as

Changing the Gender Balance in Caring: Fatherhood and the Division of Parental Leave in Norway

  • Trude Lappegard


In this article, we study fathers’ use of parental leave in Norway, using register data from 1993 to 1997. In 1993, a special father’s quota (1 month) was introduced in the parental leave program. The father’s quota is a success in the sense that 85% of fathers entitled to the leave use it, but few take more than their quota (1 month). One policy intention was to make a real change in the gender balance in care. The analyses show that gender balance in breadwinning has a strong effect on fathers’ use of parental leave: controlling for parents’ educational level, labor market attachment and father’s income, we find that the more mothers contribute to the family economy and the more equalized their earnings are, the more parental leave fathers take.


Gender Childcare Parental leave Fatherhood Norway 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division for Social and Demographic ResearchOsloNorway

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