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Can Parents' Right to Work Part-Time Hurt Childbearing-Aged Women? A Natural Experiment with Administrative Data

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Author Info

  • Fernández-Kranz, Daniel

    ()
    (IE Business School, Madrid)

  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria

    ()
    (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

Using a differences-in-differences approach and controlling for individual unobserved heterogeneity, we evaluate the impact of a 1999 law that granted all workers with children younger than 7 years old protection against a layoff if the worker had previously asked for a work-week reduction due to family responsibilities. As only mothers took advantage of these arrangements, we find that after the law, employers were: (i) more likely to let childbearing-aged working women "go" relative to their male counterparts; (ii) less likely to promote childbearing-aged women into good jobs; and (iii) less likely to hire childbearing-aged women. In addition, employers were able to pass at least part of the cost to childbearing-aged women through lower wages, and the amount passed to workers increased with the precariousness of the job. Heterogeneity analysis reveals that the effect on employment transitions is mainly driven by low-skilled workers and those in blue-collar jobs, while the effect on wages holds across all groups. Evidence that the substitution away from (good) jobs widens over time suggests employer learning. These results are robust to the use of different specifications and placebo tests.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7509.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7509

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Keywords: female employment transitions and wages; fixed-term and permanent contract;

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  1. Olsson, Martin, 2007. "Employment Protection and Sickness Absence," Working Paper Series 717, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sánchez-Mangas, Rocio & Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia, 2008. "Balancing family and work: The effect of cash benefits for working mothers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1127-1142, December.
  4. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2003. "Temporary Contracts and Employee Effort," IZA Discussion Papers 780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Azmat, Ghazala & Gonzalez, Libertad, 2009. "Targeting Fertility and Female Participation Through the Income Tax," IZA Discussion Papers 4405, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Güell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2003. "How Binding are Legal Limits? Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Work in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 3931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  8. Hernanz, Virginia & Jimeno, Juan Francisco & Kugler, Adriana D., 2003. "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labour Market Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3724, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
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