MPIDR Working Paper

Childcare and family ideology in Sweden

Krapf, S.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2009-044, 25 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (December 2009)
Open Access


This study examines the impact of public and private childcare supply and family ideologies on individual childbearing behavior in Sweden. We assume that childcare services facilitate the reconciliation of family and paid work. However, this relationship is not independent from family images like "dual-earners" or the "male-breadwinner". Although differences in family ideologies are not very pronounced in an egalitarian society like Sweden, we expect that childcare provision encourages young adults to start a family especially if dual-earner families are well accepted. In the empirical part, we use logistic regressions to analyze the entry into parenthood. Based on the Swedish survey "Family and Working Life in the 21st Century" and regional data for the years 2001 to 2003, we find that the probability to become parents is low in regions with a high level of childcare provision. However, in regions where non-familial childcare is highly accepted and, simultaneously, the childcare supply is high individuals are more likely to have a first child. This finding shows the importance of attitudes towards family arrangements on fertility behavior and childcare usage.
Keywords: Sweden, child care
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