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Father involvement and fertility in Norway

6th November 2014 4pm, University of Southampton

Trude Lappegard, Statistics Norway

In this paper we investigate the role of father involvement in the society on individual fertility. As the first country in the world Norway implemented an earmarked part of the paid parental leave program to fathers in 1993, the so-called fathers' quota, which is leave days that the family lose if not taken by the father. We argue that the introduction of the fathers' quota have changed father's behavior and thus the social norms towards more involved fatherhood, i.e. higher share of leave taken by fathers signal stronger norms toward involved fathers. For this study we use unique data covering the whole Norwegian population and suitable statistical methods, i.e., the hazard rate model. Assuming that individual decision-making is embedded in contextual conditions such as social norms, we calculate two measures of father involvement for each of the 435 municipalities which are expected to be positively associated with higher fertility.