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The Effects of Paternity Leave on Fertility and Labor Market Outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • Farré, Lídia

    ()

    (University of Barcelona)

  • Gonzalez, Libertad

    ()

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

This paper studies the effects of a father quota in the parental leave period on households' labor market and fertility decisions. Identification is based on the 2007 reform of the Spanish family benefit system, which extended the sixteen weeks of paid parental leave by two additional weeks exclusively reserved for fathers and non-transferable to mothers. Using a regression discontinuity design, we show that the reform substantially increased the take-up rate of fathers (by as much as 400%), as well as the re-employment probability of mothers shortly after childbirth (by about 11%). However, it did not affect parents' longer-term leave-taking or employment behavior. We also find that the introduction of the two weeks of paternity leave delayed higher-order births and reduced subsequent fertility among older women (by about 15%). These results suggest a limited scope for the father quota to alter household behaviors beyond the parental leave period and reduce gender inequality at the workplace.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10865.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10865
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  3. Maria del Carmen Huerta & Willem Adema & Jennifer Baxter & Wen-Jui Han & Mette Lausten & RaeHyuck Lee & Jane Waldfogel, 2013. "Fathers' Leave, Fathers' Involvement and Child Development: Are They Related? Evidence from Four OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 140, OECD Publishing.
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  15. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
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  20. Anna Raute, 2016. "Can Financial Incentives Reduce the Baby Gap? Evidence from a Reform in Maternity Leave Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economic Seminar - TAPES) National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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