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When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health


  • Persson, Petra

    (Stanford U and Research Institute for Industrial Economics, Stockholm)

  • Rossin-Slater, Maya

    (Stanford U School of Medicine and IZA, Bonn)


We study how fathers' access to workplace flexibility affects maternal postpartum health. We use variation from a Swedish reform that granted new fathers more flexibility to take intermittent parental leave during the postpartum period and show that increasing the father's temporal flexibility reduces the incidence of maternal postpartum physical and mental health complications. Our results suggest that mothers bear the burden from a lack of workplace flexibility for men because fathers' inability to respond to domestic shocks exacerbates the maternal health cost of childbearing.

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  • Persson, Petra & Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2020. "When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health," Research Papers 3928, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:3928

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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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