Gendered effects of intensified care burdens: Employment and sickness absence in families with chronically sick or disabled children in Norway


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Using longitudinal register data from Norway, the article examines the impact of having a child with intensified care needs on maternal and paternal employment, within a gender equality promoting welfare state. The hypothesis is that parents with a chronically sick or disabled child will have lower employment probabilities, lower labour earnings and higher sickness absence than parents with a healthy child, and that mothers are more affected than fathers when having a child with extra care needs. A quasi-experimental difference-in-difference regression model shows that the employment probabilities of parents with a sick or disabled child are comparable to those of parents with a healthy child, both for mothers and fathers. The analyses further reveal that having a chronically sick or disabled child reduces labour earnings and increases long-term sickness absence among mothers, while fathers’ labour earnings and sickness absence are less affected.




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