IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How policy matters: Germany’s parental leave benefit reform and fathers’ behavior 1999-2009


  • Esther Geisler

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

  • Michaela R. Kreyenfeld

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


In 2007, Germany enacted a radical new parental leave benefit scheme that grants parents 67 percent of their previous income, and includes two “daddy months.” In this paper, we use data from the German Microcensus for the period 1999 to 2009 to explore how this reform has changed fathers’ use of parental leave. We find strong overall increase in parental leave usage among men. Two groups of men in particular changed their behavior: highly educated men and fathers who are on fixed-term employment contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Geisler & Michaela R. Kreyenfeld, 2012. "How policy matters: Germany’s parental leave benefit reform and fathers’ behavior 1999-2009," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2012-021
    DOI: 10.4054/MPIDR-WP-2012-021

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Miriam Maeder, 2014. "Earnings-related parental leave benefits and subjective well-being of young mothers: evidence from a German parental leave reform," Working Papers 148, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    2. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Kuehnle, Daniel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2018. "Paid parental leave and families’ living arrangements," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 182-197.
    3. Abrahamsen, Signe A., 2018. "Paternity Leave and Family Outcomes," Working Papers in Economics 13/18, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    4. Scheiner, Joachim, 2014. "Gendered key events in the life course: effects on changes in travel mode choice over time," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 47-60.
    5. Chidambaram, Bhuvanachithra & Scheiner, Joachim, 2020. "Understanding relative commuting within dual-earner couples in Germany," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 113-129.
    6. Holger Stichnoth, 2020. "Short-run fertility effects of parental leave benefits: evidence from a structural model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(1), pages 143-168, July.
    7. Allison Dunatchik & Berkay Özcan, 2019. "Reducing Mommy Penalties with Daddy Quotas," CASE Papers /213, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    8. Rannveig K. Hart & Synøve N. Andersen & Nina Drange, 2019. "Effects of extended paternity leave on union stability and fertility," Discussion Papers 899, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ngai, L. Rachel & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2009. "Welfare policy and the distribution of hours of work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28698, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Sam Hickey & Tom Lavers & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa & Jeremy Seekings, 2018. "The negotiated politics of social protection in sub-Saharan Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-34, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Joanna Osiñska, 2013. "Postawy wzglêdem euro i ich determinanty– przegl¹d badañ i literatury przedmiotu," Working Papers 70, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    4. Maria Iacovou, 2013. "The relationship between incomes and living arrangements: variation between countries, over the life course, and over time," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/15, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    5. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2006. "Job Protection: The Macho Hypothesis," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 390-410, Autumn.
    6. Armando Aliu & Bekir Parlak & Dorian Aliu, 2015. "Hybrid structures: innovative governance, judicial and sociological approaches," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 1747-1760, July.
    7. Erik Stam & Roy Thurik & Peter van der Zwan, 2010. "Entrepreneurial exit in real and imagined markets," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1109-1139, August.
    8. Elizabeth-Anne Thomas, 2019. "How Useful Is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Reporting Framework to Identify the Non-financial Value of Corporate Social Performance (CSP)?," CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance, in: Nicholas Capaldi & Samuel O. Idowu & René Schmidpeter & Martin Brueckner (ed.), Responsible Business in Uncertain Times and for a Sustainable Future, pages 37-87, Springer.
    9. Henrekson Ebba & Andersson Fredrik O. & Wijkström Filip & Ford Michael R., 2020. "Civil Society Regimes and School Choice Reforms: Evidence from Sweden and Milwaukee," Nonprofit Policy Forum, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-37, January.
    10. Spieß, Christa Katharina & Schneider, A. Ulrike, 2003. "Interactions between care-giving and paid work hours among European midlife women, 1994 to 1996," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 41-68.
    11. Mahmud Rice, James & Goodin, Robert E. & Parpo, Antti, 2006. "The Temporal Welfare State: A Crossnational Comparison," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 195-228, December.
    12. Ive Marx & Brian Nolan & Javier Olivera, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," Working Papers 1403, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    13. Cees H. Elzinga & Aart C. Liefbroer, 2007. "De-standardization of Family-Life Trajectories of Young Adults: A Cross-National Comparison Using Sequence Analysis," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 225-250, October.
    14. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Marc Sangnier, 2016. "Trust and the Welfare State: the Twin Peaks Curve," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 861-883, June.
    15. Deepak Gopinath, 2015. "Shifting of the ontological-epistemological balance in contemporary research agendas: a critique," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(5), pages 1873-1882, September.
    16. Georg Kanitsar, 2019. "Segmented Labor Markets – Segmented Solidarities?," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 2019(2), pages 179-201.
    17. Sarah K. Bruch & Janet C. Gornick & Joseph van der Naald, 2020. "Geographic Inequality in Social Provision: Variation across the US States," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Distribution and Mobility of Income and Wealth, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Reibling, Nadine & Ariaans, Mareike & Wendt, Claus, 2019. "Worlds of Healthcare: A Healthcare System Typology of OECD Countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 123(7), pages 611-620.
    19. Simone Schneider, 2012. "Income Inequality and its Consequences for Life Satisfaction: What Role do Social Cognitions Play?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 419-438, May.
    20. Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Anna Matysiak, 2016. "The Causal Effects of the Number of Children on Female Employment - Do European Institutional and Gender Conditions Matter?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 343-367, September.

    More about this item


    Germany; family;

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2012-021. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Peter Wilhelm (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.