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The Long-Term Effect on Children of Increasing the Length of Parents' Birth-Related Leave

  • Würtz, Astrid

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

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    The length of parents’ birth-related leave varies across countries and has been subject of some debate. In this paper, I will focus on some potential bene…ts of leave. I investigate the long-term e¤ects on children of increasing the length of parents’birth-related leave using a natural experiment from 1984 in Denmark when the leave length was increased quite suddenly by almost 50% from 14 to 20 weeks. Regression discontinuity design is used to identify the causal e¤ect of the leave reform and to estimate whether there is a measurable, persistent e¤ect on children’s cognitive and educational outcomes at ages 15 and 21. A population sample of Danish children born in the months around implementation of the reform and a dataset with Danish PISA-2000 scores are used for the analysis. Results indicate that increasing parents’ access to birth-related leave has no measurable e¤ect on children’s long-term cognitive outcomes.

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    File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/07-11_awu.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-11.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2007_011
    Note: Accepted for publication in Labour Economics: Rasmussen, A.W.(2009), "Increasing the Length of Parents' Birth-Related Leave: The Effect on Children's Long-Term Educational Outcomes"
    Contact details of provider: Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
    Phone: +45 89 486396
    Fax: +45 8615 5175
    Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx

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    1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "Parental Leave and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 6554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
    3. Heckman, James J., 2000. "Policies to foster human capital," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 3-56, March.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
    6. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 1613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz, 2004. "Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?," NBER Working Papers 10206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," NBER Working Papers 10691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2005. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment and Infant Health?," NBER Working Papers 11135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2000. "The Effect of Parents' Employment on Children's Educational Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Paul Gregg & Elizabeth Washbrook & Carol Propper & Simon Burgess, 2005. "The Effects of a Mother's Return to Work Decision on Child Development in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages F48-F80, 02.
    12. Patrick Puhani & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 359-386, May.
    13. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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