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Abstract: Prominent theories have long suggested that couples’
gendered division of labor decreases the risk of separation. Family policies such
as the Finnish cash-for-care (CFC) benefit, which is paid if a young child does
not attend public daycare, may encourage a gendered division of labor, at least
temporarily. Using Finnish register data, this study examines the effect of receiving
the CFC benefit on the short- and long-term risks of separation. Discrete-time
event history analyses suggest a lower separation risk while the benefit is
taken, but no effect in the long term. Fixed-effects models for non-repeated
events indicate postponement of separation during benefit take-up, as well as selection
into longer periods of CFC use for couples with higher latent propensity to
separate. It is concluded that the CFC benefit use, signaling a gendered
division of labor, predicts a lower separation risk during receipt of the benefit
but not beyond that period.
The Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland (Decision Number 293103) for the research consortium Tackling Inequality in Time of Austerity, the Academy of Finland grant decision no. 275030, the Swedish Research Council through the Linnaeus Center for Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (grant 349-2007-8701) and the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM): Stockholm University SIMSAM Node for Demographic Research (grant 340-2013-5164).