Merging Separate Spheres: Does Paternity Leave Promote Dual-Earner Dual-Carer Households?
February 9, 2014
This paper presents evidence from a reform in Quebec which suggests that exposure to paternity leave can have a large and long-lasting impact on household sex specialization. I take a quasi-experimental approach by exploiting variation in exposure to a daddy quota across province, time and timing of birth, and use time-diary data to analyze whether it was associated with changes in parents' time allocations in the long term. Several years later, both fathers and mothers who were exposed to the reform report more time in childcare than their counterparts who were not exposed. Exposed fathers report spending over an hour longer in domestic work per day, particularly in routine and time-inflexible tasks such as cooking and shopping which are more likely to pose a conflict with work or leisure. Lastly, the reform is associated with a change in the distribution of financial responsibilities: exposed fathers spend considerably less time in paid work, while exposed mothers reported considerably more time in paid work, primarily due to higher probability of full-time work.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: housework, childcare, parental leave, paternity leave
JEL Classification: J13, J16, J22, D10, D60working papers series
Date posted: November 23, 2012 ; Last revised: February 24, 2014
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