Advertisement

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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Gender equality Time use Household work Unemployment Business cycles 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. Akerlof, G. A., & Kranton, R. E. (2000). Economics and identity. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 105, 715–733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amilon, A. (2007). On the sharing of temporary parental leave: The case of Sweden. Review of Economics of the Household, 5, 385–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker, G. (1965). A theory of the allocation of time. Economic Journal, 75, 493–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becker, G. (1991). A treatise on the family. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bergstrom, T. (1996). Economics in a family way. Journal of Economic Literature, 34, 1903–1934.Google Scholar
  6. Bianchi, S. M., Milkie, M. A., Sayer, L. C., & Robinson, J. P. (2000). Is anyone doing the housework? Trends in the gender division of household labor. Social Forces, 79, 191–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blood, R. O., & Wolfe, D. M. (1960). Husbands and wives. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.Google Scholar
  8. Chiappori, P.-A. (2000). Collective labor supply and welfare. Journal of Political Economy, 100, 437–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coltrane, S. (2000). Research on household labor: Modeling and measuring the social embeddedness of routine family work. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 1208–1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ekberg, J., Eriksson, R., & Friebel, G. (2005). Parental leave—A policy evaluation of the Swedish “Daddy-Month” Reform. IZA Discussion Papers 1617.Google Scholar
  11. England, P., & Kilbourne, B. S. (1990). Markets, marriages, and other mates: The problem of power. In R. Friedland & A. F. Robertson (Eds.), Beyond the marketplace. Rethinking economy and society (pp. 163–188). New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  12. Erikson, R., & Åberg, R. (1987). Welfare in transition. A survey of living conditions in Sweden 1968–1981. Oxford: Claredon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Eriksson, R., & Nermo, M. (2008). Care for sick children as a proxy for gender equality. S-WoPEC Working Paper 1/2008, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University.Google Scholar
  14. Evertsson, M., & Nermo, M. (2004). Dependence within families and the division of labour: Comparing Sweden and the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 1272–1286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Evertsson, M., & Nermo, M. (2007). Changing resources and the division of housework: A longitudinal study of Swedish couples. European Sociological Review, 23, 455–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gähler, M. (2004). Levnadsnivåundersökningen (LNU). In M. Bygren, M. Gähler, & M. Nermo (Eds.), Familj och Arbete—vardagsliv i förändring (pp. 322–327). Stockholm: SNS Förlag.Google Scholar
  17. Gershuny, J. (2000). Changing times: Work and leisure in postindustrial society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hart, R. A. (2006). Worker-job matches, job mobility and real wage cyclicality. Economica, 73, 287–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hersch, J. (1991a). The impact of nonmarket work on market wages. American Economic Review, 81, 157–160.Google Scholar
  20. Hersch, J. (1991b). Male-female differences in hourly wages—the role of human-capital, working-conditions, and housework. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 44, 746–759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hersch, J., & Stratton, L. S. (1994). Housework, wages, and the division of housework time for employed spouses. American Economic Review, 84, 120–125.Google Scholar
  22. Hersch, J., & Stratton, L. S. (1997). Housework, fixed effects, and wages of married workers. Journal of Human Resources, 32, 285–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hochschild, A. (1989). The second shift. New York: Avon Books.Google Scholar
  24. Lundberg, S., & Pollak, R. A. (1993). Separate spheres bargaining and the marriage market. Journal of Political Economy, 101, 988–1010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lundberg, S., & Pollak, R. A. (1996). Bargaining and distribution in marriage. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10, 139–158.Google Scholar
  26. Park, S., & Shin, D. (2005). Explaining procyclical male-female wage gaps. Economic Letters, 88, 231–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sayer, L. C. (2005). Gender, time and inequality: Trends in women’s and men’s paid work, unpaid work and free time. Social Forces, 84, 285–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sayer, L. C., Bianchi, S. E., & Robinson, J. P. (2004). Are parents investing less in children? Trends in mothers’ and fathers’ time with children. American Journal of Sociology, 110, 1–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Solon, G. R., Barsky, R., & Parker, J. A. (1994). Measuring the cyclicality of real wages: How important is composition bias. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 109, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sundström, M., & Duvander, A.-Z. (2002). Gender division of childcare and the sharing of parental leave among new parents in Sweden. European Sociological Review, 18, 433–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swedish Institute for Social ResearchStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations