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Fathers' childcare and parental leave policies: Evidence from Western European Countries and Canada

  • Reich, Nora
  • Boll, Christina
  • Leppin, Julian Sebastian

The study at hand pursues the following question: How are national parental leave arrangements related to fathers' participation in and time used for childcare? To answer this question, we merge data from the Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) with national parental leave characteristics. Specifically, we are using 30 surveys from eight industrialised countries from 1971 to 2005. Applying a selection model, we are estimating fathers' participation in childcare and the minutes per day spent on childcare. We control for the following parental leave characteristics: duration of leave, amount of benefits and the number of weeks reserved for the father. The main results are that duration of parental leave, exclusive weeks for the father and any benefit compared to no benefit have a positive impact on fathers' childcare participation. Parental leave weeks reserved for the father and parental leave benefits affect fathers' minutes of childcare positively. It is concluded that parental leave characteristics have effects on fathers' childcare participation and time spent on childcare, but that parental leave policies have to be evaluated within the framework of each country's family policy package.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) in its series HWWI Research Papers with number 115.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:115
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  1. 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.
  2. Shelley Pacholok & Anne Gauthier, 2010. "Non-Participant Fathers in Time-Use Studies: Uninvolved or Data Artifact?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 249-266, April.
  3. Reich, Nora, 2012. "Fathers' childcare: The difference between participation and amount of time," HWWI Research Papers 116, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  5. Neyer, Gerda, 2003. "Family Policies and Low Fertility in Western Europe," Discussion Paper 161, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Joost de Laat & Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2011. "The Fertility and Women's Labor Force Participation puzzle in OECD Countries: The Role of Men's Home Production," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 87-119.
  7. Elena Stancanelli, 2003. "Do fathers Care?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2003-08, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
  9. Gerda R. Neyer, 2003. "Family policies and low fertility in Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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