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Session Overview
L02: Family Leave Policies
Friday, 20/Aug/2021:
2:15pm - 3:45pm

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2:15pm - 2:37pm

Family Culture and Childcare Policies

Francesca Carta3, Lorenzo De Masi2, Paola Profeta1

1Bocconi University; 2Universidad Carlos III; 3Bank of Italy

We study whether and how the family organization shapes individual references on public childcare provision. Then, we investigate whether politicians' incentives reflect the family organization that prevails among their voters. We proxy the current family organization with historical family principles: living arrangement based on cohabitation, that measures the possibility to rely on other family members to satisfy care needs, and the inheritance rule, that measures how much the offspring is dependent on parental financial help. We find that U.S. citizens whose background is based on large and cohabiting families rely less on the Government as provider for external childcare; on the contrary, traditional financial dependency on parents make individuals more prone to ask for the Government's intervention. Representatives of U.S. districts where these backgrounds are dominant, are respectively less and more prone to vote for childcare interventions.

Carta-Family Culture and Childcare Policies-284.pdf

2:37pm - 3:00pm

Gender Norms and Specialization in Household Production: Evidence from a Danish Parental Leave Reform

Anne Sophie Lassen

Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

The arrival of children implies a large reduction in women's earnings and labor supply while fathers' labor market trajectories are unaffected. To understand this specialization, I test theoretical predictions of both the standard model of intra-household specialization and the role of gender identity and prescriptions. For identification, I use variation from a Danish parental leave reform. Mothers increase their leave by 5 weeks while the average leave duration of fathers remains unchanged. Relative earnings have a negligible impact on both mothers' and fathers' leave duration, but mothers' response to the reform is negatively affected by maternal labor supply. These findings are consistent with the notion of pay-off from gender identity. In further support of the role of gender identity, I find peer effects among sisters and interpret this as a reform-induced change in prescriptions of extended leave.

Lassen-Gender Norms and Specialization in Household Production-240.pdf

3:00pm - 3:22pm

Do Family Policies Affect Births, Maternal Employment and Marital Stability?

Elizabeth Brainerd2, Olga Malkova1

1University of Kentucky, United States of America; 2Brandeis University, United States of America

This paper examines the effect of a maternity benefit program on childbearing, maternal employment and marital stability in the former Soviet republics. The program included one year of partially paid leave and a small cash payment. We use individual-level panel data on birth, employment and marital status histories and a difference-in-differences strategy to study the short- and long-term effects of the program. We find an increase in fertility rates, particularly for second births among married and older women, providing suggestive evidence of an increase in completed fertility. We find a small positive effect on overall female employment, especially among women not eligible for the benefits, who likely want to qualify. After the birth of a child, we find an increase in the length of maternity leave, but no effect on employment six years after birth. The program also increased marital stability for married couples after the birth of a child.

Brainerd-Do Family Policies Affect Births, Maternal Employment and Marital Stability-354.pdf

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