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Does Child Care Affect Parents’ Sickness Absence? Evidence From A Norwegian Paternity Leave Reform

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Abstract

In several European countries, a paternity quota has been introduced as part of paid parental leave to provide incentives for fathers to increase their child care responsibilities and household involvement.In this paper, we explore the introduction of the first paternity quota in Norway in 1993. Through a regression discontinuity (RD) framework, we examine the sickness absence of parents who had children just before and after the reform—due to the parents’ own illness and to care for close family members. Our findings suggest that the amount of sick leave taken by fathers has increased in the short and long term and that the amount of sick leave taken by mothers has decreased, although the estimates are not statistically significant. The results are supported by standard RD and robustness tests. We also address the relevance of a composition bias resulting from the unobservable latent sick leave of non-employed individuals. This sensitivity check shows that their latent absence may affect the estimated treatment effect.

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  • Rieck, Karsten Marshall Elseth, 2012. "Does Child Care Affect Parents’ Sickness Absence? Evidence From A Norwegian Paternity Leave Reform," Working Papers in Economics 14/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2012_014
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    8. Sara Cools & Jon H. Fiva & Lars J. Kirkebøen, 2015. "Causal Effects of Paternity Leave on Children and Parents," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(3), pages 801-828, July.
    9. Ekberg, John & Eriksson, Rickard & Friebel, Guido, 2013. "Parental leave — A policy evaluation of the Swedish “Daddy-Month” reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 131-143.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sickness absence; paternity leave; child care;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • 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

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