Effects of Extending Paid Parental Leave on Children’s Socio-Emotional Skills and Well-Being in Adolescence

57 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2022 Last revised: 7 Nov 2022

See all articles by Mikkel Aagaard Houmark

Mikkel Aagaard Houmark

Aarhus University

Cecilie Marie Løchte Jørgensen

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics

Ida Lykke Kristiansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Miriam Gensowski

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit

Date Written: September 18, 2022

Abstract

We study how children’s socio-emotional skills and well-being in adolescence are affected by an increase in the duration of parental care during infancy. Exploiting a Danish reform that extended paid parental leave in 2002 and effectively delayed children’s entry into formal out-of-home care, we show that longer leave increases adolescent well-being, conscientiousness and emotional stability, and reduces school absenteeism. The effects are strongest for children of mothers who would have taken short leave in absence of the reform. This highlights how time spent with a parent is particularly productive during very early childhood.

Keywords: Parental Leave, Early Childhood, Skill Formation, Parental Investments, Socio-Emotional Skills, Personality, Well-Being, Adolescence

JEL Classification: J13, J18, J24, I31

Suggested Citation

Houmark, Mikkel and Løchte Jørgensen, Cecilie Marie and Kristiansen, Ida Lykke and Gensowski, Miriam, Effects of Extending Paid Parental Leave on Children’s Socio-Emotional Skills and Well-Being in Adolescence (September 18, 2022). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper , CEBI Working Paper 14/22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4222355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4222355

Mikkel Houmark

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

Cecilie Marie Løchte Jørgensen

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, 8210
Denmark

Ida Lykke Kristiansen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bygn 26
Copenhagen, 1353
Denmark

Miriam Gensowski

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

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