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The Duration of Paid Parental Leave and Children's Scholastic Performance

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Author Info

  • Liu, Qian

    ()
    (Uppsala University)

  • Nordström Skans, Oskar

    ()
    (Uppsala University)

Abstract

We study how the duration of paid parental leave affects the accumulation of cognitive skills among children. We use a reform which extended parental leave benefits from 12 to 15 months for Swedish children born after August 1988 to evaluate the effects of prolonged parental leave on children's test scores and grades at age 16. We show that, on average, the reform had no effect on children's scholastic performance. However, we do find positive effects for children of well-educated mothers, a result that is robust to a number of different specifications. We find no corresponding heterogeneity relative to parental earnings or fathers' education, or relative to other predictors of child performance. We find no effects on intermediate outcomes such as mothers' subsequent earnings, child health, parental fertility, divorce rates, or the mothers' mental health. Overall the results suggest positive causal interaction effects between mothers' education and the amount of time mothers spend with their children. Since the institutional context is one in which the alternative is subsidized day care, the results imply that subsidizing longer parental leave spells rather than day care reinforce the relationship between maternal education and school outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4244.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy, 2010, 10 (1), Article 3
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4244

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Keywords: maternal employment; education; human capital; cognitive skills;

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References

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  1. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a ”True Natural Experiment”," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "Parental Leave and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 6554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028, 08.
  4. Heckman, James J., 2000. "Policies to foster human capital," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 3-56, March.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  6. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  8. Liu, Haiyong & Mroz, Thomas A. & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2010. "Maternal employment, migration, and child development," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 212-228, May.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2008. "The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Hörisch, Hannah, 2008. "Does parental employment affect children's educational attainment?," Discussion Papers in Economics 2140, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2009. "Does child spacing affect children’s outcomes? Evidence from a Swedish reform," Working Paper Series 2009:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  14. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2006. "Is early learning really more productive? The effect of school starting age on school and labor market performance," Working Paper Series 2006:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2007. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Working Paper Series 2007:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  17. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
  18. Sakiko Tanaka, 2005. "Parental leave and child health across OECD countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages F7-F28, 02.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Karimi, Arizo & Lindahl, Erica & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2012. "Labour Supply Responses to Paid Parental Leave," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Maya Rossin‐Slater & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2013. "The Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Program on Mothers’ Leave‐Taking and Subsequent Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 224-245, 03.
  3. Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter & Spieß, C. Katharina & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2013. "Das Elterngeld und seine Wirkungen auf das Haushaltseinkommen junger Familien und die Erwerbstätigkeit von Müttern," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 193-211.
  4. Danzer, Natalia & Lavy, Victor, 2013. "Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 7626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Education and family background: Mechanisms and policies," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  6. Jerome Adda & Anders Bjorklund & Helena Holmlund, 2011. "The Role of Mothers and Fathers in Providing Skills: Evidence from Parental Deaths," Economics Working Papers ECO2011/08, European University Institute.
  7. 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).
  8. Sara Cools & Jon H. Fiva & Lars J. Kirkebøen, 2011. "Causal Effects of Paternity Leave on Children and Parents," CESifo Working Paper Series 3513, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Carneiro, Pedro & Løken, Katrine & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2010. "A flying start? Long term consequences of maternal time investments in children during their first year of life," CEPR Discussion Papers 8124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Michael Baker & Kevin S. Milligan, 2011. "Maternity Leave and Children’s Cognitive and Behavioral Development," NBER Working Papers 17105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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