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Work Disability after Motherhood and How Paternity Leave Can Help

Author

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  • Fontenay, Sébastien

    (Free University of Brussels)

  • Tojerow, Ilan

    (Free University of Brussels)

Abstract

We study how childbirth increases the likelihood of young, working mothers to claim disability insurance and how paternity leave could ease this effect. Our event study analysis uses Belgian data to show that the incidence rate of disability across gender only diverges after first-time childbirth. This "other child penalty" can be reduced with the provision of paternity leave. Our regression discontinuity difference-in-differences design shows that mothers with partners eligible for a two-week-long paternity leave spent on average 21% fewer days on disability over twelve years. Moreover, we show links between this incidence of paternity leave and consequent birth-spacing decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Fontenay, Sébastien & Tojerow, Ilan, 2020. "Work Disability after Motherhood and How Paternity Leave Can Help," IZA Discussion Papers 13756, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp13756
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    disability insurance; gender; child penalty; paternity leave; maternal health; birth spacing; natural experiment; regression discontinuity; event study;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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