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A general equilibrium analysis of parental leave policies

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  • Andres Erosa
  • Luisa Fuster
  • Diego Restuccia

Abstract

An important feature of the U.S. labor market is that, even after controlling for measurable differences in education and experience, the average wage of women with children is 89 percent of the average wage of women without children. This "family gap" in wages accounts for almost half the gender gap in wages. Proponents of mandatory-leave policies argue that career interruptions associated with fertility have long-lasting effects on female employment and are costly in terms of human-capital losses for females. Despite the fact that mandatory leaves are widely applied in developed countries, their effects on the economy are not well understood. We develop and calibrate a general-equilibrium model of fertility and labor-market decisions to study the quantitative impact of such policies. We build on the Mortensen and Pissarides (1994) labor-market framework by introducing male and female workers, general and specific human-capital accumulation on the job, and temporary separations between the worker and a job. We find that: (i) the loss of specific human capital accounts for a small fraction of the wage gaps and (ii) mandatory-leave policies have substantial aggregate and redistributive effects on fertility, employment, and welfare. Interestingly, we find that the general-equilibrium effect of mandatory-leave policies is a reduction in the amount of time females spend at home with children.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2005. "A general equilibrium analysis of parental leave policies," Working Paper 05-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:05-08
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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. Nezih Guner & Ezgi Kaya & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2014. "Gender gaps in Spain: policies and outcomes over the last three decades," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 61-103, March.
    3. Eva Garcia-Moran & Zoe Kuehn, 2012. "With Strings Attached: Grandparent-Provided Child care, Fertility, and Female Labor Market Outcomes," CEPRA working paper 1202, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    4. Erosa, Andres & Fuster, Luisa & Restuccia, Diego, 2016. "A quantitative theory of the gender gap in wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 165-187.
    5. Andres Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Parental Leave Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 742-758, October.
    6. García-Morán, Eva & Kuehn, Zoe, 2012. "With strings attached: Grandparent-provided child care, fertility, and female labor market outcomes," MPRA Paper 37001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Reich, Nora, 2008. "Das Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz in Deutschland: Analyse potenzieller Effekte auf Geburtenzahl und Fertilitätsstruktur," HWWI Policy Papers 1-10, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    8. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Chapters,in: Demography and the Economy, pages 43-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:bla:ecorec:v:94:y:2018:i:304:p:80-100 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Raquel Bernal & Anna Fruttero, 2008. "Parental leave policies, intra-household time allocations and children’s human capital," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(4), pages 779-825, October.
    11. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2013. "Childcare Subsidies and Household Labor Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 9775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Flabbi, Luca & Mabli, James, 2012. "Household Search or Individual Search: Does It Matter? Evidence from Lifetime Inequality Estimates," IZA Discussion Papers 6908, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Hamish Low & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2015. "Female labour market outcomes and the impact of maternity leave policies," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-22, December.
    14. Eva Garcia-Moran & Zoe Kuehn, 2017. "With Strings Attached: Grandparent-Provided Child Care and Female Labor Market Outcomes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 80-98, January.
    15. Eva Garcia-Moran & Zoe Kuehn, 2017. "With Strings Attached: Grandparent-Provided Child Care and Female Labor Market Outcomes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 80-98, January.
    16. Del Rey, Elena & Racionero, Maria & Silva, Jose I., 2017. "On the effect of parental leave duration on unemployment and wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 14-17.
    17. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "The Timing of Births: A Marriage Market Analysis," Penn CARESS Working Papers 49355d43c11f2314075e8b54e, Penn Economics Department.
    18. García-Morán, Eva & Kuehn, Zoe, 2013. "With strings attached: Grandparent-provided child care and female labor market outcomes," MPRA Paper 48953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. repec:pal:easeco:v:44:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1057_s41302-017-0099-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Bick, Alexander, 2011. "The quantitative role of child care for female labor force participation and fertility," MPRA Paper 31713, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market ; Labor economics;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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