Effects of Extended Paternity Leave on the Relative Earnings and Union Stability of Couples

Rannveig Hart
Synøve N. Andersen, Statistics Norway
Nina Drange, Statistics Norway

Abstract Long paternity leaves have the potential to leave lasting effects on parental unions, potentially reducing specialization and increasing union stability. We put these hypotheses to a causal test, using an extension of the Norwegian parental leave father’s quota from 6 to 10 weeks as a source of exogenous variation in fathers' leave uptake. We implement a Regression Discontinuity design, using full population data from Norwegian administrative registers of parents of children in a four month window around the reform (N = 9 516). The reform significantly increased the amount of leave taken by fathers by about three weeks and reduced the amount of leave taken by mothers by about four weeks. Neither union stability nor his or her earnings were affected by the reform. The null finding suggests that extended paternity quotas do not equalize or stabilize unions -- nor do they intensify fatherhood penalties.

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 Presented in Session 175. Gender, Work, and Family: Assessing Policy Effects