Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 385–404 | Cite as

On the sharing of temporary parental leave: the case of Sweden



This paper views temporary parental leave (leave from work to take care of a sick child) as a household public good, produced with time inputs of the parents as the only input. Assuming equal productivities in the production of temporary parental leave and equal utility functions of the spouses, different household decision-making processes are applied to develop theoretical hypotheses on sharing that are thereafter tested empirically. The empirical estimations show that the decision-making process of the spouses can be explained by a Stackelberg model with male dominance. A stronger threat-point of the female is found to push the intra household allocation of temporary parental leave towards greater sharing between the spouses. In addition, an increase in the insurance ceiling will further sharing of temporary parental leave in some families, while reducing it in others.


Temporary parental leave Stackelberg model Bargaining power 

JEL Classifications

D13 J13 



The author wishes to thank Inga Persson, John Ermisch, Katarina Nordblom, Katarina Katz, David Edgerton, Kristian Bolin, Dan-Olof Rooth, Katarina Steen-Carlsson, Robin Rander, Mårten Wallette, Martin Nordin, Curt Wells, Shoshana Grossbard and two anonymous referees for helpful comments. Financing from the Swedish Insurance Agency and the Crafoord foundation is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Ahrne, Göran, & Roman, Christine (1997). Hemmet, barnen och makten - Förhandlingar om arbete och pengar i familjen. SOU 1997:139. Stockholm: Fritzes.Google Scholar
  2. Apps, Patricia, & Rees, Ray (1997). Collective labor supply and household production. The Journal of Political Economy, 105(1), 178–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albrecht, James, Edin, Per-Anders, Sundström, Marianne, & Vroman, Susan (1999). Career interruptions and subsequent earnings: A re-examination using Swedish data. The Journal of Human Resources, 34(2), 294–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Antelius, Jesper, & Björklund, Anders (2000). How reliable are register data for studies of the return on schooling? An examination of Swedish data. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 44(4), 342–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashworth, John, & Ulph, David (1981). Household models. In C. V. Brown (Ed.), Taxation and labour supply. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  6. Beblo, Miriam, & Robledo, Julio (2007). The wage gap and the leisure gap for double earner couples. Journal of Population Economics [forthcoming]. Google Scholar
  7. Becker, Gary (1991). A treatise on the family. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bergstrom, Theodore, Blume, Laurence, & Varian, Hal (1986). On the private provision of public goods. Journal of Public Economics, 29(1), 25–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bolin, Kristian (1997). A family with one dominating spouse. In Persson, Inga, & Christina, Jonung (Eds.), Economics of the family and family policies. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, Zhiqi, & Woolley, Frances (2001). A Cournot-Nash model of family decision making. The Economic Journal, 111(474), 722–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre (1992). Collective labour supply and welfare. The Journal of Political Economy, 100(3), 437–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ekberg, John, Rickard, Eriksson, & Guido, Friebel (2004). Sharing responsibility? Short- and long-term effects of Sweden’s “Daddy-Month” reform. Swedish Institute for Social Research Working Paper Series, 3, 2004.Google Scholar
  13. Ermisch, John (2003). An economic analysis of the family. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Familjerätt - Information om lagreglerna. (1999). Justitiedepartementet, Regeringskansliet.Google Scholar
  15. Folbre, Nancy (1994). Who pays for the kids? – Gender and the structures of constraint. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Greene, William (2003). Econometric analysis (5th ed.). Upper Saddle Hall, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall International Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana (1993). On the economics of marriage: A theory of marriage, labor and divorce. Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  18. Haas, Linda (1992). Equal parenthood and social policy – A study of parental leave in Sweden. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hedlund, Bodil (1999). Din ekonomi 1999. VälfärdsBulletinen Nr 1 1999.Google Scholar
  20. Hoem, Jan, Neyer, Gerda, & Andersson, Gunnar (2006). Educational attainment and ultimate fertility among Swedish women born in 1955–59. Demographic Research, 14(16), 381–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Konrad, Kai, & Lommerud, Kjell (2000). The bargaining family revisited. Canadian Journal of Economics, 33(2), 471–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Leuthold, Jane (1968). An empirical study of formula income transfers and the work decisions of the poor. The Journal of Human Resources, 3(3), 312–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lommerud, Kjell (1997). Battles of the sexes: Non-cooperative games in the theory of the family. In Inga Persson & Christina Jonung (Eds.), Economics of the family and family policies New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Lundberg, Shelly, & Robert, Pollack (1994). Noncooperative bargaining models of marriage. The American Economic Review, 84(2), 132–137.Google Scholar
  25. Lundberg, Shelly, & Robert, Pollack (2003). Efficiency in marriage. Review of Economics of the Household, 1(3), 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manser, Marilyn, & Brown, Murray (1980). Marriage and household decision making. International Economic Review, 21(1), 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McElroy, Marjory, & Horney, Mary (1981). Nash-bargained household decisions: Toward a generalisation of the theory of demand. International Economic Review, 22(2), 333–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Näsman, Elisabet (1992). Parental leave in Sweden—a workplace issue? Stockholm: Stockholm research reports in demography No. 73.Google Scholar
  29. RFV (1993). Vilka pappor kom hem?—En rapport om uttaget av föräldrapenningen 1989 och 1990 för barn födda 1989. RFV Informerar. Statistisk Rapport Is-R, 1993:3, Stockholm.Google Scholar
  30. Sundström, Marianne, & Dufvander, Ann-Zofie (1998). Föräldraförsäkringen och jämställdheten mellan kvinnor och män. In Persson, Inga & Wadensjö, Eskil (Eds.), Välfärdens Genusansikte. SOU 1998:3. Stockholm: Fritzes.Google Scholar
  31. Weiss, Yoram, & Willis, Robert J. (1985). Children as collective goods and divorce settlements. Journal of Labor Economics, 3(3), 268–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Web pages: The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (links existed November 14, 2006):Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.The Danish National Center for Social ResearchCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations