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Are Women Discriminated Against In Countries With Extensive Family Policies? A Piece Of The ‘Welfare State Paradox’ Puzzle From Sweden

Magnus Bygren, Michael Gähler

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Abstract A common assumption in comparative family policy studies is that employers statistically discriminate against women in countries with dual-earner family policy models. The empirical evidence cited in support of this assumption has exclusively been observational data, which should not be relied on to identify employer discrimination. In contrast, we investigate whether employers discriminate against women in Sweden—frequently viewed as epitomizing the dual-earner family policy model—using field experiment data. We find no evidence supporting the notion that Swedish employers statistically discriminate against women.