Fathers, Parental Leave and Gender Norms

29 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017

See all articles by Ulrike Unterhofer

Ulrike Unterhofer

Independent

Katharina Wrohlich

DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2017

Abstract

Social norms and attitudes towards gender roles have been shown to have a large effect on economic outcomes of men and women. Many countries have introduced policies that aim at changing gender stereotypes, for example fathers’ quota in parental leave schemes. In this paper, we analyze whether the introduction of the fathers’ quota in Germany in 2007, that caused a sharp increase in the take-up of parental leave by fathers, has changed the attitudes towards gender roles in the grandparents’ generation. To this end, we exploit the quasi-experimental setting of the 2007 reform and compare grandparents whose son had a child born before the 2007 reform to grandparents whose son had a child born after it. Our results suggest that such policy programs not only induce direct behavioral responses by the target group but also have indirect effects on non-treated individuals through social interaction and can thus change attitudes towards gender roles in a society as a whole.

Keywords: Parental leave, gender equality, social norms, social interaction, policy evaluation

JEL Classification: J16, J18, J22, H31, D13

Suggested Citation

Unterhofer, Ulrike and Wrohlich, Katharina, Fathers, Parental Leave and Gender Norms (April 2017). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1657. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2952289

Ulrike Unterhofer

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Katharina Wrohlich (Contact Author)

DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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