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Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform

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  • Natalia Danzer
  • Victor Lavy

Abstract

This paper investigates the question whether long-term human capital outcomes are affected by the duration of maternity leave, i.e. by the time mothers spend at home with their newborn before returning to work. Employing RD and difference-in-difference approaches, this paper exploits an unanticipated reform in Austria which extended the maximum duration of paid and job protected parental leave from 12 to 24 months for children born on July 1, 1990 or later. We use test scores from the Austrian PISA test of birth cohorts 1990 and 1987 as measure of human capital. The evidence suggest no significant overall impact of the extended parental leave mandate on standardized test scores at age 15, but that the subgroup of boys of highly educated mothers have benefited from this reform while boys of low educated mothers were harmed by it.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Danzer & Victor Lavy, 2013. "Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform," NBER Working Papers 19452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19452 Note: CH ED LS
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    1. Nicole Schneeweis & Martina Zweimüller, 2014. "Early Tracking and the Misfortune of Being Young," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 394-428.
    2. Gennetian, Lisa A. & Hill, Heather D. & London, Andrew S. & Lopoo, Leonard M., 2010. "Maternal employment and the health of low-income young children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 353-363, May.
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    13. Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz, 2010. "Increasing the length of parents' birth-related leave: The effect on children's long-term educational outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 91-100, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Saurer, Judith & Felfe, Christina, 2014. "Granting Birthright Citizenship - A Door Opener for Immigrant Children's Educational Participation and Success?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100548, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Beuchert, Louise Voldby & Humlum, Maria Knoth & Vejlin, Rune, 2016. "The length of maternity leave and family health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 55-71.
    3. JAMES, Jonathan & VUJIC, Suncica, 2016. "From high school to the high chair: Education and fertility timing," Working Papers 2016005, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. Christina Felfe & Helmut Rainer & Judith Saurer, 2016. "Why Birthright Citizenship Matters for Immigrant Children: Impacts on Parental Educational Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 6037, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Christina Felfe & Judith Saurer, 2015. "Granting Birthright Citizenship - A Door Opener for Immigrant Children's Educational Participation and Success?," ifo Working Paper Series 208, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2015. "Maternity leave and children’s cognitive and behavioral development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 373-391, April.
    7. Barbara Broadway & Guyonne Kalb, 2015. "The Effect of Paid Parental Leave on Child Health in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Katrin Huber, 2015. "Moving to an Earnings-Related Parental Leave System: Do Heterogeneous Effects on Parents Make Some Children Worse Off?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 791, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Dejan Kovac, 2017. "Do Fathers Matter?: Paternal Mortality and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," Working Papers 609, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Huber, Katrin, 2015. "Moving to an earnings-related parental leave system do heterogeneous effects on parents make some children worse off?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113044, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Katrin Huber, 2015. "Moving to an earnings-related parental leave system – do heterogeneous effects on parents make some children worse off?," Working Papers 160, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

    More about this item

    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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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