With the idea of paternity leave gaining traction in Japan, could dads with strollers become a boon to socioeconomic success, innovation and productivity growth, and even help slow Japan’s population decline? Evidence from Sweden suggests they might.

Sweden is regularly ranked one of the most innovative countries in the world by the World Economic Forum. Along with Denmark, Norway and Finland, its per capita gross domestic product tops global charts, as does its competitiveness, according to indices such as the World Competitiveness Ranking.

At the same time, nowhere in the world — not even in other Nordic countries — are there as many dads staying home with their babies as in Sweden. This is thanks to strong gender equality norms and a generous parental leave system introduced in 1974, the first in the world to allow parents to share parental leave.