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Parental Leave, (In)formal Childcare and Long-term Child Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Danzer, Natalia

    (Free University of Berlin)

  • Halla, Martin

    (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business)

  • Schneeweis, Nicole

    (University of Linz)

  • Zweimüller, Martina

    (University of Linz)

Abstract

We provide a novel interpretation of the estimated treatment effects from evaluations of parental leave reforms. Accounting for the counterfactual mode of care is crucial in the analysis of child outcomes and potential mediators. We evaluate a large and generous parental leave extension in Austria exploiting a sharp birthday cutoff-based discontinuity in the eligibility for extended parental leave and geographical variation in formal childcare. We find that estimated treatment effects on long-term child outcomes differ substantially according to the availability of formal childcare and the mother's counterfactual work behavior. We show that extending parental leave has significant positive effects on children's health and human capital outcomes only if the reform induces a replacement of informal childcare with maternal care. We conclude that care provided by mothers (or formal institutions) is superior to informal care-arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Danzer, Natalia & Halla, Martin & Schneeweis, Nicole & Zweimüller, Martina, 2017. "Parental Leave, (In)formal Childcare and Long-term Child Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10812, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10812
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    Cited by:

    1. Chuard, Caroline, 2020. "Womb at work: The missing impact of maternal employment on newborn health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    2. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Bernhard Schmidpeter & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2022. "Grandmothers’ Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(5), pages 1645-1689.
    3. Bicakova, Alena & Kaliskova, Klara, 2022. "Is Longer Maternal Care Always Beneficial? The Impact of a Four-Year Paid Parental Leave," IZA Discussion Papers 15640, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Jonathan Gruber & Kristiina Huttunen & Tuomas Kosonen, 2022. "Paying Moms to Stay Home: Short and Long Run Effects on Parents and Children," Working Papers 4, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Tax Systems Research.
    5. Nicardo S. McInnis & Katherine Michelmore & Natasha Pilkauskas, 2023. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty and Public Assistance: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 31429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ziegler, Lennart & Bamieh, Omar, 2023. "What Drives Paternity Leave: Financial Incentives or Flexibility?," IZA Discussion Papers 15890, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Jonas Jessen, 2023. "Maternity leave versus early childcare—What are the long-term consequences for children?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 438-438, May.
    8. Katrin Huber, 2019. "Changes in parental leave and young children’s non-cognitive skills," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 89-119, March.
    9. Ahammer, Alexander & Glogowsky, Ulrich & Halla, Martin & Hener, Timo, 2023. "The Parenthood Penalty in Mental Health: Evidence from Austria and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 16459, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Ahammer, Alexander & Halla, Martin & Schneeweis, Nicole, 2020. "The effect of prenatal maternity leave on short and long-term child outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    11. Canaan, Serena, 2022. "Parental leave, household specialization and children’s well-being," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    12. Mette Goertz & Vibeke Myrup Jensen & Sarah Sander, 2023. "Daycare Enrollment Age and Child Development," CEBI working paper series 22-26, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    13. Gerald J. Pruckner & Flora Stiftinger & Katrin Zocher, 2024. "When women take over: Physician gender and health care provision," Economics working papers 2024-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    14. Mette Goertz & Vibeke Myrup Jensen & Sarah Sander, 2023. "Daycare Enrollment Age and Child Development," CEBI working paper series 22-26, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    parental leave; formal childcare; informal childcare; child development; maternal labor supply; fertility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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