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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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  • 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. Guell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "How binding are legal limits? Transitions from temporary to permanent work in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 153-183, April.
  2. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2005. "Temporary contracts and employee effort," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 281-299, June.
  3. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2006. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kugler, Adriana & Jimeno, Juan F. & Hernanz, Virginia, 2002. "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labor Market Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Olsson, Martin, 2007. "Employment Protection and Sickness Absence," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 717, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Sánchez-Mangas, Rocio & Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia, 2008. "Balancing family and work: The effect of cash benefits for working mothers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1127-1142, December.
  7. Fouarge Didier & Baaijens Christine, 2009. "Job Mobility and hours of work: the effect of Dutch legislation," ROA Research Memorandum, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) 004, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  8. Ghazala Azmat & Libertad González Luna, 2008. "Targeting fertility and female participation through the income tax," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1113, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2009.
  9. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  10. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
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