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Against all odds: fathers’ use of parental leave in Germany

  • Esther Geisler

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    This paper investigates fathers’ usage of parental leave in Germany based on data from the microcenses 1999-2005. We consider two competing hypotheses. On the one hand, we argue that value change is a driving force behind fathers’ engagement in parenting activities. We assume that the ‘new father’ can more often be found among highly educated and urban men who are believed to be the forerunners in terms of new values and ideas. We contrast this hypothesis with the assumption that economic factors are the main determinants of men’s parental leave decisions. Our main finding is that fathers are more likely to be on parental leave if they have a highly educated or older partner. We also find that employment through a temporary working contract substantially lowers the chances that men will take advantage of parental leave, while being employed in the public sector increases the chances that men will use their parental leave entitlement.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-010.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-010.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-010
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Burgess, Simon & Gregg, Paul & Propper, Carol & Washbrook, Elizabeth, 2008. "Maternity rights and mothers' return to work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 168-201, April.
    2. Konrad, Kai A. & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1996. "The Bargaining Family Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1312, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
    4. Anna Amilon, 2007. "On the sharing of temporary parental leave: the case of Sweden," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 385-404, December.
    5. Simon Duncan & Rosalind Edwards, 1997. "Lone Mothers and Paid Work - Rational Economic Man or Gendered Moral Rationalities?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 29-61.
    6. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
    7. Siv S. Gustafsson & Shirley Dex & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 1996. "Women`s labor force transitions in connection with childbirth: A panel data comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
    8. Lommerund, K.E., 1997. "Battle of the Sexes: Non-Cooperative Games in the Theory of the Family," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 174, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
    9. C. Katharina Spiess & Jan Ondrich & Qing Yang, 1996. "Barefoot and in a German kitchen: Federal parental leave and benefit policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 247-266.
    10. Trude Lappegard, 2008. "Changing the Gender Balance in Caring: Fatherhood and the Division of Parental Leave in Norway," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 139-159, April.
    11. Eiko Kenjoh, 2005. "New Mothers' Employment and Public Policy in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 5-49, December.
    12. Ron J. Lesthaeghe & Lisa Neidert, 2006. "The Second Demographic Transition in the United States: Exception or Textbook Example?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(4), pages 669-698.
    13. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-37, May.
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