Publication
Title
When is it about the money? Relative wages and fathers’ parental leave decisions
Author
Abstract
Policy-makers in many countries increasingly voice concerns about fathers’ low uptake of parental leave, given numerous potential dividends regarding children’s development, fathers’ wellbeing, and household gender equality. In response, scholars have put forward complementary ideological, policy-related, or economic explanations for fathers’ parental leave uptake. With respect to the latter, the so-called relative resources hypothesis assumes that gender inequality in leave uptake reflects within-couple gender differences in wage potential, and predicts higher leave uptake amongst secondary earner fathers. This mixed methods study is the first to combine longitudinal administrative data for 1810 parent couples with 22 in-depth individual and couple interviews, to (I) quantify the significance and magnitude of the relative resources pattern in leave-taking, (II) provide qualitative process knowledge on how the relative resources mechanism operates, and (III) test moderations of the relative resources hypothesis. Findings indicate that the relative resources mechanism affects male leave uptake significantly and both through unitary decision-making and bargaining between partners, but also that the positive effect of being a secondary earner on fathers’ leave uptake is weakened in case of imperfect information, restrictive workplace factors, limited household income, and gendered parenting ideals. These findings suggest that the increasing prevalence of female main earner households will not automatically yield gender equality in parental leave uptake, and might inspire policy makers to enhance public knowledge on parental leave systems, workplace support for leave uptake in male-dominated sectors of employment, and address inclusiveness of leave schemes to households with lower incomes.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Population research and policy review. - Amsterdam, 1982, currens
Publication
Amsterdam : 2023
ISSN
0167-5923 [print]
1573-7829 [online]
DOI
10.1007/S11113-023-09837-4
Volume/pages
42 :6 (2023) , p. 1-24
Article Reference
93
ISI
001119301800001
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 30.11.2024
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 30.11.2023
Last edited 16.02.2024
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