Social Indicators Research

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 341–356 | Cite as

Care for Sick Children as a Proxy for Gender Equality in the Family

  • Rickard Eriksson
  • Magnus Nermo


Swedish parents are entitled to government paid benefits to take care of sick children. In this paper we show that the gender distribution of paid care for sick children is a good proxy for the gender division of household work. Using two examples we show that registry data on care for sick children is a useful data source for studies on gender equality in the family. Our first example shows that increased effort at work leads to a lower effort in household work, and a higher effort at home for the other spouse. Our second example provides some evidence for a pro-cyclical pattern in gender equality.


Gender equality Time use Household work Unemployment Business cycles 



We are indebted to one anonymous reviewer for valuable comments and suggestions. We also wish to thank the Swedish council for working life and social research (FAS) for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swedish Institute for Social ResearchStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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