The other side of maternity leave

In The Sunday Age today an article reviewing sociological research into the adverse impact of maternity leave entitlements on gender discrimination in labour markets. The researchers argue that the Swedish model where mothers and fathers have more equal leave entitlements has done little to impact on gender discrimination. However, I must admit that it seems inconsistent to argue that maternity leave entitlements have increased discrimination while pointing to countries with policies that, in principle, are less harmful on this front, not doing much better. Either those observations are wrong or the causes of discrimination are deeper.

One thought on “The other side of maternity leave”

  1. The two best analyses I’ve seen on this (in terms of reliability and readability) are from VoxEU, which is essentially a “group blog” of senior academic economists.

    http://voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/402
    “Gender roles and technological progress” a.k.a “Gender, medicine and papa leave”, VoxEU, (2007-07-20)

    http://balneus.wordpress.com/2007/07/22/paid-paternal-leave-might-fix-gender-wage-inequity/
    “Paid paternal leave might fix gender wage inequity” (2007-07-22)

    The latter does go into the Swedish model you mentioned, but also implies (my own inference, not VoxEU’s) that for those employers wanting committed-to-the-business employees, gays might be the best candidates.

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