Making Leave Easier: Better Compensation and Daddy-Only Entitlements
December 6, 2013
In 2006, Quebec enacted a landmark reform to paid parental leave that greatly improved the generosity of entitlements and established a father's non-transferable right to paid leave. This paper examines the effects of this reform on fathers' and mothers' participation rates and mothers' labor market outcomes. It explores whether the reform reduced inequalities in access and usage of paid leave across gender and income groups, and considers whether the distribution of legal rights within such programs may be important.
Using data from the Employment Insurance Coverage Survey and employing a difference-in-differences setup, I find that the reform was associated with a striking rise in fathers participation: an increase of 55-60 percentage points in the probability of a father receiving parental leave benefits. Further, there is evidence of an intra-household flypaper effect via the labeling of some leave as 'daddy-only' – a household's decisions about how to allocate leave between members may be influenced by the framing of legal rights within such a program. In the case of mothers, the reform was associated with an increase of 14 percentage points in claim rates. The duration of the average maternity leave increased by over half a month under the new program. I find no change in mothers exit rates from the labor market on average but do find the reform to be associated with an increase in the probability of returning to the pre-birth employer, especially for first-time mothers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: maternity leave, paternity leave, daddy quota, benefit claims, flypaper effect, parental leave
JEL Classification: J13, J22, J16, J18, J53, I38working papers series
Date posted: September 15, 2012 ; Last revised: December 7, 2013
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