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The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Olivetti, Claudia

    ()

    (Boston College)

  • Petrongolo, Barbara

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

We draw lessons from existing work and our own analysis on the effects of parental leave and other interventions aimed at aiding families. The outcomes of interest are female employment, gender gaps in earnings and fertility. We begin with a discussion of the historical introduction of family policies ever since the end of the nineteenth century and then turn to the details regarding family policies currently in effect across high-income nations. We sketch a framework concerning the effects of family policy to motivate our country- and micro-level evidence on the impact of family policies on gender outcomes. Most estimates of the impact of parental leave entitlement on female labor market outcomes range from negligible to weakly positive. The verdict is far more positive for the beneficial impact of spending on early education and childcare.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10505.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10505
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