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Welfare Reforms and the Division of Parental Leave

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  • Thomas Høgholm Jørgensen

    (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Jakob Egholt Søgaard

    (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We study the design of parental leave systems through the lens of an estimated model of parents’ joint willingness to pay for parental leave. We estimate the model using Danish register data on almost 200,000 births combined with sharp variation in economic incentives created by the parental leave benefit system. The estimated model reproduces the empirical distribution of leave, including bunching at kinks in household budget sets and a large share of fathers taking little or no leave at all. We provide a menu of counterfactual policy simulations showing substantial interaction effects between earmarked leave, replacement rates and the duration of leave benefits. For example, introducing 9 weeks earmarked parental leave, as stipulated by a recent EU directive, with a low replacement rate increases the leave of fathers only slightly, while it reduces the leave of mothers significantly in our model. Finally, we discuss the efficiency costs of different policies aimed at increasing the parental leave of fathers.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Høgholm Jørgensen & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2021. "Welfare Reforms and the Division of Parental Leave," CEBI working paper series 21-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kucebi:2109
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    Cited by:

    1. Canaan, Serena & Lassen, Anne Sophie & Rosenbaum, Philip & Steingrimsdottir, Herdis, 2022. "Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave: Evidence on the Economic Impact of Legislative Changes in High Income Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 15129, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    parental leave; welfare reforms; intrahousehold allocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling

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