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

Author

Listed:
  • Esther Geisler

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

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Geisler & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2009. "Against all odds: fathers’ use of parental leave in Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-010
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-010.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Trude Lappegard, 2008. "Changing the Gender Balance in Caring: Fatherhood and the Division of Parental Leave in Norway," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 27(2), pages 139-159, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-137, May.
    6. Ondrich, Jan & Spiess, C Katharina & Yang, Qing, 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 247-266, August.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Kai A. Konrad & Kjell Erik Lommerud, 2000. "The bargaining family revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 471-487, May.
    10. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boll, Christina & Leppin, Julian Sebastian & Reich, Nora, 2011. "Einfluss der Elternzeit von Vätern auf die familiale Arbeitsteilung im internationalen Vergleich," HWWI Policy Papers 59, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    2. Nadiya Kelle, 2011. "Wandel von Erwerbsbeteilung westdeutscher Frauen nach der Erstgeburt: ein Vergleich der zwischen 1936 und 1965 geborenen Kohorten," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 406, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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