Does time count? Immigrant fathers’ use of parental leave for a first child in Sweden

By Eleonora Mussino, Ann-Zofie Duvander, Li Ma

This study aims to investigate immigrant fathers’ use of parental leave for a first child in Sweden from 1995 to 2010. The issue of immigrant fathers’ uptake of parental leave is particularly well suited to assess the integrative aspects of family policies and for studying immigrants’ integration because it reflects labour market participation and acceptance of gender-equal parental norms. Using data from Swedish population registers, we find that immigrant fathers do take parental leave but not to the same extent as Swedish-born fathers do, and they do not respond equally to policy changes. Our most important finding is that immigrant fathers increase their leave use with time spent in Sweden, indicating an adaptation to the leave-use pattern of Swedish-born fathers. We also find that individual income, as well as the mothers’ characteristics, are strong determinants of parental leave use.


  • parental leave use
  • immigrant fathers
  • Sweden
  • adaptation
  • gender equality
Go to the article on