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

Author

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  • Würtz, Astrid

    () (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Würtz, Astrid, 2007. "The Long-Term Effect on Children of Increasing the Length of Parents' Birth-Related Leave," Working Papers 07-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • 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"
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    File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/07-11_awu.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2000. "Parental leave and child health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 931-960, November.
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    4. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    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. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2008. "Maternal employment and adolescent development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 958-983, October.
    7. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz, 2005. "Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 16-41, July.
    8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    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.
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    13. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a �True Natural Experiment�," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maternity leave; parental leave; child outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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