Effects of the 2001 Extension of Paid Parental Leave Provisions on Birth Seasonality in Canada

Canadian Public Policy (2016, Forthcoming)

47 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2015 Last revised: 4 Dec 2015

See all articles by Janice Compton

Janice Compton

University of Manitoba - Department of Economics

Lindsay M. Tedds

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy; University of Calgary - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 25, 2015

Abstract

It is well known that there exists a strong seasonal pattern in births and that the pattern differs across geographic regions. While historically this seasonal pattern has been linked to exogenous factors, modern birth seasonality patterns can also be explained by purposive choice. If birth month of a child is at least partially chosen by the parents then, by extension, it can also be expected that this can be influenced by anything that changes the costs and benefits associated with that choice, including public policy. This paper explores the effect that the 2001 extension of paid parental leave benefits had on birth seasonality in Canada. Overall we find strong results that the pattern of birth seasonality in Canada changed after 2001, with a notable fall in spring births and an increase in late summer and early fall births. We discuss the potential effects of this unintended consequence, including those related to health and development, educational preparedness and outcomes, and econometric modelling.

Keywords: birth seasonality, policy determinants, parental leave, Canada

JEL Classification: J13, J38, H30

Suggested Citation

Compton, Janice and Tedds, Lindsay M., Effects of the 2001 Extension of Paid Parental Leave Provisions on Birth Seasonality in Canada (November 25, 2015). Canadian Public Policy (2016, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2650819 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2650819

Janice Compton (Contact Author)

University of Manitoba - Department of Economics ( email )

501 Fletcher Argue Bldg
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 5V4
Canada

Lindsay M. Tedds

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy ( email )

Calgary, Alberta
Canada

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

University Drive
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

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