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