Norwegian Fathers' Use of Parental Leave -- Determinants and Preferences

Silje K.V. Pettersen, Statistics Norway
Trude LappegÄrd, Statistics Norway

In 1993, Norway was the first country in the world to introduce a "father's quota" - four weeks of parental leave after childbirth that is earmarked the father. After 10 years of existence, an impressive 85 percent of the fathers who are eligible use their right. However, despite numerous government incentives to encourage fathers to take further leave beyond the quota, very few do. This paper uses Norwegian register data and a survey conducted in 2002 to examine fathers' behavior and preferences. Through regression analysis we determine the factors that affect the father's use of parental leave and his view on the ideal length of the quota. We find that 50 percent of the Norwegian fathers prefer a longer quota and that while his use of parental leave primarily is determined by the mother's own behavior, his preferences are determined more by his own working conditions.

Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children