Now Daddy's Changing Diapers and Mommy's Making Her Career - Evaluating a Generous Parental Leave Regulation Using a Natural Experiment
Over the last decades many OECD countries introduced parental leave regulations in order to counteract low and decreasing birth rates. In general, these regulations aim at making parenthood more attractive and more compatible with a working career, especially for women. The recent German Elterngeld reform is one example: By replacing 67 per cent of prepartum parental labor earnings for up to 14 months after birth of the child - if both father and mother take up the transfer - it intends to i) smooth or prevent households' earnings decline postpartum, ii) make childbearing attractive for working women while iii) keeping them close to the labor market, and iv) incentivize fathers to participate in childcare. We evaluate the reform by using a natural experiment created by the quick legislative process of the Elterngeld reform: Comparing outcomes of parents with children born shortly after and before the coming into effect of the law on 1 January 2007 yields unbiased estimates of the reform effects, because at the time when these children were conceived none of the parents knew that the regulation would be in force by the time their child is born. Our results are based on unique data from the official evaluation of the reform, which we conducted for the German government, and they show that the reform has been generally successful in attaining its objectives. In particular, we find a significant decrease in mothers' employment probability during the 12 months after giving birth, and a significant increase in mothers' employment probability after the Elterngeld transfer expires.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Hohenzollernstraße 1-3, 45128 Essen|
Web page: http://www.rwi-essen.de/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.rwi-essen.de/publikationen/|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gustafsson, Siv S & Wetzels, Cecile M.M.P. & Dirk Vlasblom, Jan & Dex, Shirley, 1996.
"Women's Labor Force Transitions in Connection with Childbirth: A Panel Data Comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 223-46, August.
- Siv S. Gustafsson & Shirley Dex & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 1996. "Women`s labor force transitions in connection with childbirth: A panel data comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
- Ekberg, John & Eriksson, Rickard & Friebel, Guido, 2013.
"Parental leave — A policy evaluation of the Swedish “Daddy-Month” reform,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 131-143.
- Ekberg, John & Eriksson, Rickard & Friebel, Guido, 2005. "Parental Leave – A Policy Evaluation of the Swedish "Daddy-Month" Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 1617, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Geyer, Johannes & Steiner, Viktor, 2007.
"Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers’ Employment and Working Hours Across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Johannes Geyer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers' Employment and Working Hours across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 682, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
- Tamm, Marcus, 2009.
"The Impact of a Large Parental Leave Benefit Reform on the Timing of Birth around the Day of Implementation,"
Ruhr Economic Papers
98, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
- Tamm, Marcus, 2013. "The Impact of a Large Parental Leave Benefit Reform on the Timing of Birth around the Day of Implementation," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 585-601.
- Muehler, Grit, 2008. "Institutional Childcare: An Overview on the German Market," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-077, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1363-1402.
- repec:zbw:rwirep:0098 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0145. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabine Weiler)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.