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Paid Parental Leave: Leaner Might Be Better


  • Catherine Haeck

    () (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)

  • Samuel Pare
  • Pierre Lefebvre

    () (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)

  • Philip Merrigan

    (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)


This article provides an analysis of the impact of the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP). Using a quasi-experimental design with survey data, we find that mothers spent on average 10 additional days with their newborn following the implementation of the insurance plan, and that both mothers and fathers received higher benefits. For children, using both survey data and administrative data, we find that the QPIP had limited positive effects on their health, cognitive and behavioural development. Effects are concentrated among families of mothers with a post-secondary education. These results suggest that while paid benefits increased dramatically, the impacts on maternal time investment and child well-being are modest.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Haeck & Samuel Pare & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2019. "Paid Parental Leave: Leaner Might Be Better," Working Papers 19-01, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:grc:wpaper:19-01

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    Cited by:

    1. LEBIHAN, Laetitia & MAO TAKONGMO, Charles Olivier, 2019. "The Effect of Paid Parental Leave on Breastfeeding, Parental Health and Behavior," MPRA Paper 95719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Choi, Youjin & Holm, Anders & Margolis, Rachel, 2019. "The Effects of Paternity Leave on Parents’ Earnings Trajectories and Earnings Inequality," SocArXiv tx2vh, Center for Open Science.

    More about this item


    maternity leave; parental leave; child development; family well-being; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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