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Parental leave — A policy evaluation of the Swedish “Daddy-Month” reform

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  • Ekberg, John
  • Eriksson, Rickard
  • Friebel, Guido

Abstract

Many governments are making attempts to increase fathers' share of parental leave in order to correct for unequal labor market outcomes. Using Swedish data, we ask whether fathers can be encouraged to take more parental leave in order to mitigate the negative consequences of mothers' career interruptions. The unique data stem from a reform of parental leave, resulting in a clean natural experiment. Data comprise all children born before (control group) and after (treatment group) the date of implementation of the reform, in cohorts of up to 27,000 newborns, mothers and fathers. We find strong short-term effects of the incentives on male parental leave, but no behavioral effects in the household. Fathers in the treatment group do not take larger shares of the leave taken for care of sick children, which is our measure for household work. We also investigate a second data set on fathers' and mothers' long-term wages and employment, without finding evidence for substantial effects of the reform.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 97 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 131-143

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:97:y:2013:i:c:p:131-143

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Natural experiment; Family benefits; Gender and labor markets; Incentives;

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  1. James W. Albrecht & Per-Anders Edin & Marianne Sundström & Susan B. Vroman, 1999. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 294-311.
  2. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
  3. Paul Gregg & Elizabeth Washbrook & Carol Propper & Simon Burgess, 2005. "The Effects of a Mother's Return to Work Decision on Child Development in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages F48-F80, 02.
  4. Mette Ejrnæs & Astrid Kunze, 2004. "Wage Dips and Drops around First Birth," CAM Working Papers 2004-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  8. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  9. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2000. "Natural "Natural Experiments" in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 827-874, December.
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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