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The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes

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  • Dustmann, Christian

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Schönberg, Uta

    ()
    (University College London)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of three major expansions in leave coverage in Germany on the long-run education and labor market outcomes of children. Evaluation of three policy reforms as opposed to a single reform enables us to analyze whether the impact of paid leave differs from that of unpaid leave, and whether an expansion of a relatively short leave period is more beneficial to child development than an expansion of an already long leave period. Our empirical analysis combines two large administrative data sources on wages, unemployment, and school outcomes. We identify the causal impact of the reforms by comparing outcomes of children born shortly before and shortly after a change in maternity leave legislation, and therefore require substantially weaker assumptions for identification than existing studies. We find little support for the hypothesis that an expansion in maternity leave legislation improves children’s outcomes. Given the precision of our estimates, we can statistically rule out the hypothesis that the expansion in paid leave from 2 to 6 (unpaid leave from 18 to 36) months raised wages (attendance at high track schools) by more than 0.3 % (0.1 %).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3605.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3605

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Keywords: child development; maternity leave;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Catherine Deri-Armstrong, 2009. "The Long-term Effects of Maternal Employment on Daughters’ Later Labour Force Participation and Earnings," Working Papers 0914E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  2. Carneiro, Pedro & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long Run Outcomes of Children," IZA Discussion Papers 5793, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Marcus Tamm, 2009. "Child Benefit Reform and Labor Market Participation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0097, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Schildberg-Hoerisch, Hannah, 2011. "Does parental employment affect children's educational attainment?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1456-1467.
  5. Juliane Scheffel, 2011. "Identifying the Effect of Temporal Work Flexibility on Parental Time with Children," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-024, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  6. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2010. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 130-139, January.
  7. Liu, Qian & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "The Duration of Paid Parental Leave and Children's Scholastic Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 4244, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Rege, Mari & Solli, Ingebor F, 2010. "The impact of paternity leave on long-term father involvement," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2010/4, University of Stavanger.
  9. Katrin Sommerfeld, 2008. "Older Babies - More Active Mothers?: How Maternal Labor Supply Changes as the Child Grows," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 143, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Mari Rege & Ingeborg F. Solli, 2010. "The Impact of Paternity Leave on Long-term Father Involvement," CESifo Working Paper Series 3130, CESifo Group Munich.

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