Øyvind Skorge

Øyvind (Ovi) Skorge, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

The Business of Change: Employers and Work-Family Policy Reforms

Chapter in Business Interests and the Development of the Modern Welfare State, edited by Dennie Oude Nijhuis, 2019. London: Routledge.


Under what conditions do employers shift their social policy preferences and push governments to implement new policies? We study the reforms of work-family policies (WFPs), such as parental leave and daycare services, to address this question. 1 WFPs have seen massive expansion since the 1970, but with strong cross-national variation in the speed of reforms. Given the strong growth of WFPs, we use them as a case to understand employers’ preferences for regulation of labor markets through social policy. By combing the peculiarities of WFPs with considerations of how employers generally perceive the cost-benefit calculus of social policies, we elucidate why employers’ preferences for WFP underwent dramatic changes between 1970 and today.