ArticlePDF Available

Female labour supply and parental leave benefits - the causal effect of paying higher transfers for a shorter period of time


Abstract and Figures

We study the labour supply effects of a major change in child-subsidy policy in Germany in 2007 designed to increase both fertility and shorten birth-related employment interruptions. The reform involved a move from a means-tested maternity leave benefit system that paid a maximum of 300 Euro for up to 2 years to a benefit system that replaced two-thirds of pre-birth earnings for at most 1 year. As the reform took place very recently, we estimate the labour supply effect by using data drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) on the intention of women to return to the labour market. Our results show that the reform yields most of the intended effects: the fraction of mothers who plan to return to the labour market within a year after the interview increased by 14 percentage points.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Deutsches Institut für
Annette Bergemann Regina T. Riphahn
Female labor supply and parental leave benefits -
The causal effect of paying higher transfers
for a shorter period of time
on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
Berlin, February 2009
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
at DIW Berlin
This series presents research findings based either directly on data from the German Socio-
Economic Panel Study (SOEP) or using SOEP data as part of an internationally comparable
data set (e.g. CNEF, ECHP, LIS, LWS, CHER/PACO). SOEP is a truly multidisciplinary
household panel study covering a wide range of social and behavioral sciences: economics,
sociology, psychology, survey methodology, econometrics and applied statistics, educational
science, political science, public health, behavioral genetics, demography, geography, and
sport science.
The decision to publish a submission in SOEPpapers is made by a board of editors chosen
by the DIW Berlin to represent the wide range of disciplines covered by SOEP. There is no
external referee process and papers are either accepted or rejected without revision. Papers
appear in this series as works in progress and may also appear elsewhere. They often
represent preliminary studies and are circulated to encourage discussion. Citation of such a
paper should account for its provisional character. A revised version may be requested from
the author directly.
Any opinions expressed in this series are those of the author(s) and not those of DIW Berlin.
Research disseminated by DIW Berlin may include views on public policy issues, but the
institute itself takes no institutional policy positions.
The SOEPpapers are available at
Georg Meran (Dean DIW Graduate Center)
Gert G. Wagner (Social Sciences)
Joachim R. Frick (Empirical Economics)
Jürgen Schupp (Sociology)
Conchita D’Ambrosio (Public Economics)
Christoph Breuer (Sport Science, DIW Research Professor)
Anita I. Drever (Geography)
Elke Holst (Gender Studies)
Frieder R. Lang (Psychology, DIW Research Professor)
Jörg-Peter Schräpler (Survey Methodology)
C. Katharina Spieß (Educational Science)
Martin Spieß (Survey Methodology)
Alan S. Zuckerman (Political Science, DIW Research Professor)
ISSN: 1864-6689 (online)
German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)
DIW Berlin
Mohrenstrasse 58
10117 Berlin, Germany
Contact: Uta Rahmann |
Female labor supply and parental leave benefits -
The causal effect of paying higher transfers for a shorter period of time
Annette Bergemanna
VU University Amsterdam
Regina T. Riphahnb
University Erlangen-Nuremberg
January 2009
Words without title page: 1947
We study the labor supply effects of a change in child-subsidy policy designed to both
increase fertility and shorten birth-related employment interruptions. The reform yields most
of the intended effects.
Key Words: female labor supply, fertility, child subsidy, parents money
JEL Code: J13, J21
a VU University Amsterdam, Department of Economics, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV
Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
b Corresponding Author: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Lange Gasse 20,
D-90403 Nürnberg, Germany,
Acknowledgements: We are grateful for helpful comments by Gerard J. van den Berg and
Barbara Hanel.
1. Introduction
During the past decades, female labor force participation has increased in most
OECD countries. However, it often still falls substantially short of the labor force participation
of men. Many countries have been considering policy reforms to address this issue. In 2007,
a German policy reform substantially modified family subsidies, with the dual objective to
increase fertility and to enhance incentives for women to return to the labor force after
Since January 1, 2007 parents of newborn children in Germany receive "parents'
money" (Elterngeld). It amounts to two thirds of the pre-birth net income of the parent who
interrupts employment. There is a minimum amount of 300 (also for those not previously in
the labor force) and a maximum of 1800 Euro per month. The benefit is paid at most for 12
months for one of the parents. The other parent can flexibly receive the benefit for two
months of employment interruption. The new transfer is more generous than the previous
means-tested program, which paid a maximum of 300 Euro for up to 24 months. However,
the new program pays for a much shorter period of time. The reform modified the parental
leave benefit and its entitlement period. At the same time the parental leave period, which
involves job protection for three years, remained unchanged.
Classic labor supply models predict that the reform enhances female labor force
participation. First, it abolishes a work disincentive, as the old regime had mandated that
every Euro earned was to be deducted from the transfer amount. Second, transfers can be
much higher now than before. At the end of the transfer period, a sizeable income drop now
gives a stronger incentive to substitute transfers by labor income. Third, the transfer payment
period was reduced by half, which suggests a faster return to the labor force than under the
old regime.
In addition to the overall labor supply effect, particularities of the reform suggest
heterogeneous responses depending on prior labor earnings. Mothers with high prior
earnings are newly eligible to receive transfers. During the period of transfer receipt their
labor supply should now decline, and afterwards it should jump upward to (at most) the pre-
reform level. Low income mothers may now receive higher benefits than before, but for a
shorter period of time. When the transfer expires, their labor supply should be larger than
before the reform. Therefore we expect particularly mothers with low earnings to increase
their labor supply and to return to the labor force faster than before the reform.
Previous studies generally confirm the responsiveness of female labor supply to
extensions of family leave policies, but none seem to have investigated the causal effect of
cuts in duration. Baker and Milligan (2008) show that an extension of the Canadian maternal
leave period lengthens the time women spent at home. In previous studies for Germany,
Ondrich et al. (1996, 2003) find that mothers' probability to return to the labor force declines
when parental leave periods are extended. Han et al. (2007) detect clear behavior changes
following institutional reforms in the United States. Spiess and Wrohlich (2008) also discuss
the reform under study here and use a micro-simulation model for an ex ante analysis of its
expected labor supply impact. They predict an increase in female participation rates and in
the number of hours worked 12 months after a birth.
2. Data and Method
We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, an annual longitudinal
household survey. We consider all women who indicated a new birth in the surveys 2005-
2007, i.e. between January 1, 2005 and the end of 2007.1 We observe 451 births and drop
the first observed birth of 8 women who had two children in the considered period, thus
focusing on a mothers' last observed birth. Overall, we observe 395 births under the old and
48 births under the new regime.
Our dependent variables are indicators of women's intention to return to work and the
planned time until returning to work. Given the small number of observations and the
nonlinear nature of the response categories, we code a likely return to the labor force if a
woman indicates this to be the case (alternative answers: certainly no, rather not, probably
1 The SOEP data has been supplied by the Deutschen Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW
Berlin). For more information on the data see Wagner, Frick, Schupp (2007).
yes, certainly, already employed). In addition, we code a fast return to work, if she answers
that she plans to return within one year or faster (alternative answers: never, not within 5
years, within 2-5 years, immediately or within one year, already working). 88 percent of the
new mothers indicate that it is likely that they return to work and 41 percent indicate that they
will return within one year.
As the introduction of the reform was largely unanticipated, we are able to identify the
causal labor supply effect by comparing the labor force participation intentions for women
under the two different policy regimes. Figure 1 depicts the development of monthly births
between January 2005 and December 2007 and confirms the exogenous nature of the timing
of the reform. In addition to the reform effect, we also control for various sets of covariates,
notably, the age of the child at the time of the interview, whether it is a first child, and whether
the woman lives in East Germany, where child care facilities are substantially better than in
the West.
Table 1 presents descriptive statistics of our variables. The covariates of the two
subsamples of women who gave birth before and after Jan. 1, 2007 differ with respect to the
age of the child, whether or not the birth is a first child and the religious affiliation. The
sampling frame of the data causes the higher average age of children born prior to 2007,
because e.g. births in 2006 can be observed both in the surveys in 2006 and 2007 whereas
births in 2007 can (so far) only be measured if the 2007 interview took place after the birth.
Note that the main part of the interviews take place in February and March. We find a higher
fraction of first births in the 2007 sample than in the years before, as well as a lower share of
mothers with Christian religious affiliation in 2007 than in the years before. Since that the
aggregate figures (see Figure 1) do not suggest a substantial increase in fertility in 2007, we
have no reason to assume a causal connection between these two covariates and the
benefit reform.
3. Results
Table 2 presents Probit estimation results of the effect of the benefit reform ("birth in
2007") on the two indicators of female labor supply after child birth, i.e. whether the mother
plans to return to work ("likely return") and the expected time until the return ("fast return"). If
the 2007 reform increased the probability and speed of return we would expect a positive
average marginal effect of the "birth in 2007" variable in all regressions.
The estimations of the likely return yield an insignificant reform effect. Columns 1-3 in
Table 2 depict the average marginal effects for three specifications which are indicative of
specifications with additional control variables. Mothers of only one child and with high levels
of education have a higher expected probability to return to the labor force.
Columns 4-7 depict the results with respect to the expected timing of a return to the
labor force with various sets of control variables. Here we find the expected significant effect
of the reform on the timing of the return to the labor force. The marginal effect is substantial
at about 14 percentage points which compares to an average of 40 percent of all new
mothers who plan to return to the labor force fast.
We find a higher propensity to quickly return to the labor force among well educated
women and among those with a strong attachment to the labor force. Not presented are
marginal effects which suggest a substantially higher propensity of East German women, of
women without a religious affiliation, and of those with older children to return to the labor
force quickly. Additional specifications, which we do not present to save space, showed that
own income has a positive effect on a fast return to the labor force and partner income yields
an insignificant negative effect.
To test whether the effect of the reform differs depending on prior earnings we
additionally controlled for interaction effects of prior earnings with the "birth in 2007" indicator
for both dependent variables (not presented to save space). The interaction term generates
insignificantly negative interaction effects, indicating that the overall positive labor supply
response of the reform is predominantly driven by mothers with lower pre-birth earnings.2
This matches our expectations and points to the potential distributional impact of the reform.
4. Conclusion
This is the first study to evaluate the causal effect of a reform that increased parental
leave benefits' amounts and shortened their payment period. Based on planned labor force
participation the reform succeeded in speeding up mothers' return to work. This shortened
employment interruption should yield beneficial long term effects with respect to reduced
human capital depreciation and wage penalties suffered by mothers who used to drop out of
the labor force for extended periods after child birth.
2 The marginal effect of the interaction effect was computed using Stata's inteff command
(Norton et al. 2004). It was statistically significant at the 10 percent level in a linear probability
model with robust standard errors.
Table 1 Descriptive Statistics
Old regime New regime
(N = 395 births) (N = 48 births)
Mean Std.Dev. Mean Std.Dev.
Dependent Variable:
Likely return (0/1) 0.891 0.016 0.792 0.059
Fast return (0/1) 0.400 0.025 0.458 0.073
Independent Variables:
Age of child at interview in
months 5.668 0.187 ** 1.875 0.194
Birth is first birth (0/1) 0.491 0.025 * 0.646 0.070
Single parent (0/1) 0.081 0.014 0.083 0.040
Maternal age at interview 30.597 0.292 29.646 0.727
Maternal schooling in years 12.634 0.137 13.135 0.405
Maternal experience in years 6.992 0.242 6.738 0.763
East German (0/1) 0.238 0.021 0.229 0.061
Foreign origin (0/1) 0.091 0.014 0.125 0.048
Religion Christian (0/1) 0.681 0.023 * 0.500 0.073
Religion other (0/1) 0.051 0.011 * 0.167 0.054
Religion none (0/1) 0.268 0.022 0.333 0.069
Note: ** and * indicate statistically significant difference of the subgroup means at the 1 and
5 percent levels.
Table 2 Probit Estimates - Dependent Variables: Likely Return and Fast Return
A.M.E. A.M.E. A.M.E. A.M.E. A.M.E. A.M.E. A.M.E.
(Std.Err.) (Std.Err.) (Std.Err.) (Std.Err.) (Std.Err.) (Std.Err.) (Std.Err.)
123 4567
Birth 2007 -0.032 -0.044 -0.054 0.155 * 0.144 o 0.133 o 0.146 o
(0.052) (0.052) (0.053) (0.080) (0.079) (0.076) (0.077)
First birth
0.122 ** 0.075 *
0.144 ** 0.033 0.016
(0.031) (0.025) (0.050) (0.051) (0.050)
Single parent
-0.097 -0.056
-0.112 -0.067 -0.07
(0.066) (0.056) (0.079) (0.079) (0.077)
Maternal schooling
0.026 **
0.040 ** 0.038 **
(0.007) (0.010) (0.010)
Maternal experience
0.036 ** 0.033 **
(0.004) (0.007) (0.008)
Age of child y ** y ** y ** y ** y ** y ** y **
Maternal age
East German
y** y** y
Foreign origin
y** yo
Pseudo R squared 0.055 0.16 0.213 0.010 0.062 0.11 0.136
Likely Return Fast Return
Note: A.M.E. stands for average marginal effect. All models consider an intercept term. **, *
and o indicate statistical significance at the 1, 5, and 10 percent level. All estimations are
based on 443 observations. We control for age of child using a second order polynomial. A
test rejected the addition of a cubic term.
Figure 1 Monthly Live Births (2005-2007)
Calendar Month
Number of Live Birth
2005 2006 2007
Source: German Federal Statistical Office
Baker, Michael and Kevin Milligan, 2008, How does job-protected maternity leave affect
mothers' employment?, Journal of Labor Economics 26(4), 655-691.
Han, Wen-Jui, Christopher Ruhm, and Jane Waldfogel, 2007, Parental leave policies and
parents' employment and leave-taking, IZA Discussion Paper No. 3244, Bonn.
Norton, Edward C., Hua Wang, and Chunrong Ai, 2004, Computing interaction effects and
standard errors in logit and probit models, The Stata Journal 4(2), 154-167.
Ondrich, Jan, C. Katharina Spiess, and Qing Yang, 1996, Barefoot and in a German kitchen:
federal parental leave and benefit policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany,
Journal of Population Economics 9(3), 247-266.
Ondrich, Jan, C. Katharina Spiess, Qing Yang, and Gert G. Wagner, 2003, The liberalization
of maternity leave policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany, Review of
Economics of the Household 1(1-2), 77-110.
Spiess, C. Katharina and Katharina Wrohlich, 2008, The Parental Leave Benefit Reform in
Germany: Costs and Labour Market Outcomes of Moving towards the Nordic Model,
Population Research and Policy Review 27(5), 575-91.
Wagner, Gert G., Joachim R. Frick, and Jürgen Schupp, 2007, The German Socio-Economic
Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements, Schmollers Jahrbuch 127 (1),
... Accordingly, previous empirical research on policy periods in Germany has provided ample evidence for considerable changes in labor-market return patterns in the majority population (Bergemann & Riphahn, 2011;Brehm, 2020;Chirkova, 2019;Geyer et al., 2015;Kluve & Tamm, 2013;Ziefle & Gangl, 2014). Blum & Dobrotic (2021) suggested that the currently dominant model may not be gender-conditioned, but rather selective in terms of social strata, as the eligibility to parental leave benefits depends on gainful employment. 2 Similarly, Bujard & Passet-Wittig (2013) pointed out that the recent parental leave policies may contribute to inequality between social groups in the same life course stage. ...
Full-text available
The paper investigates migrant–nonmigrant differentials over time among women in Germany after their first childbirth; we look at the transitions to paid work or to a second child. Our observation period covers almost 30 years, in which family policies changed substantially. Most notably, the year 2007 marked a shift in (West) Germany’s parental leave policy from a conservative family model to a policy directed toward fostering work and family reconciliation. Across these policy periods, we investigate whether population subgroups, i.e., first-generation migrants and migrant descendants, show different patterns in their transitions after the first childbirth compared to the non-migrant majority population. We use data of the German Socio-economic Panel Study (GSOEP). Our sample consists of 3555 mothers of one child, about 13% of whom are first-generation migrants and 16% are migrant descendants. We estimate event-history models: using competing risks analyses, we study transitions following the first birth, specifically, (re)entering work and having a second child. We find that the transition (back) to work increased significantly from one policy period to the next among non-migrants. Increases among migrants varied between the migrant generations, were smaller and occurred later. Hence, we find an increasing gap between first-generation migrants and non-migrants across policy periods, with migrant descendants in between. To some extent, the migrant–nonmigrant gap traces back to different compositional and institutional effects and varies across origin groups. By contrast, the transition rates to a second child decreased among non-migrants, but hardly varied across periods among migrants. Thus, our results demonstrate increasing differentials between societal groups in their work-family reconciliation behavior, to which the modern parental leave policies may have contributed. We discuss the implications of these results for researchers, society and policymakers.
... Schönberg and Ludsteck (2014) examine the effects of expansions in maternity leave coverage since 1979 and show that every expansion led to mothers delaying their return to work. Bergemann and Riphahn (2010) and Spieß and Wrohlich (2008) show that the modification of family support in 2007 (introduction of the 'Elterngeld' (parental allowance)) increased the working hours of mothers in the second year of a child's life. Stahl and Schober (2018) find that education is relevant to work-care arrangements and that employment and child care use increased more among SN Soc Sci (2022) families with moderately and highly educated mothers than among families with less educated mothers. ...
Full-text available
Most countries still have a significant gender gap in labor force participation, and this gap is especially large for immigrants. Despite this gap, Germany introduced various forms of home care allowances in the last decade. Parallel to the extension of early child care and the inclusion of a legal claim for it, from 2013 to 2015, a nationwide home care allowance existed for parents who did not use public child care for children aged one or two years. After 2015, home care allowances continued to exist in several German federal states. Some politicians strongly criticized this transfer for allegedly decreasing work incentives, particularly for mothers with lower labor market integration, such as immigrant mothers. Using federal state differentiated data obtained from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigate the impact of a home care allowance on the labor market participation of mothers. For both native-born and especially immigrant mothers, the effects are significantly negative. We conclude that a home care allowance has negative effects on the labor force participation of mothers of young children, irrespective of the legal claim for and the extension of public child care.
... For those who had more than one child in this period, I consider the lastborn child. This follows previous research(Bergemann & Riphahn 2011). Parents who had a child prior to 2007 and the next child post 2008 are not considered. ...
Despite substantial progress, gender gaps in labour market outcomes persist. Several key factors help explain remaining gaps. First, men and women continue to work in different jobs. Second, parenthood appears to be a crucial point in the life course at which gender gaps widen. Third, traditional beliefs and norms about the appropriate roles of men and women, particularly in the context of parenthood, are obstacles to closing remaining gender gaps. At the same time, advancements in automation technologies are transforming the world of work and may have genderspecific impacts. Motivated by these observations, this thesis advances understanding of several factors related to gender inequality in the labour market. These factors are gendered university major choices, attitudes towards gender roles in the context of parenthood, and effects of recent transformations in labour markets on the gender gap in pay. The thesis consists of four empirical papers. The first paper studies the role of intergenerational transmission for gendered university major choices of young adults. Using regression analysis and exploiting survey data from a recent cohort of university students in Germany, the paper investigates to what extent and why gender-typicality of mother's and father's occupation affect the gender-typicality of their child's university major. Results show signifficant intergenerational associations and indicate that parental resources and a transmission of gender roles are both relevant transmission channels, particularly for sons' major choices. The second and third paper examine how gender role attitudes are shaped in the context of parenthood. The second paper analyses effects of the 2007 paid parental leave reform (Elterngeld) in Germany on parents' gender role attitudes; specifically, attitudes towards the gender division of work, towards the roles of fathers, and towards the labour force participation of mothers. Exploiting the reform as a natural experiment, results indicate that men affected by the reform hold more traditional attitudes towards the role of fathers, whereas there is no effect on the other two iv outcomes. Focusing on the UK, the third paper explores whether parenting daughters affects attitudes towards a traditional male breadwinner model in which it is the husband's role to work and the wife's to stay at home. Using panel data and individual fixed effects models, the results indicate that fathers are less likely to hold traditional views on the gender division of work if they raise a girl. No robust effects on mothers' attitudes are found. Results from the second and third paper inform the broader literature on attitudinal change, suggesting that gender role attitudes are not stable throughout the life course and can be significantly shaped by adulthood experiences. The final paper studies whether technological change increases gender inequality. Using individual-level data from around 28 million individuals in 20 European countries and an instrumental variable strategy, the study provides the first large-scale evidence concerning the impact of industrial robots on the gender gap in earnings. Findings indicate that robot adoption increases both male and female earnings but also increases the gender pay gap. These results are driven by countries with high initial levels of gender inequality and can be explained by the fact that men in medium- and high-skilled occupations disproportionately benefit from robotization, through a productivity effect.
Full-text available
There is no doubt that women play a vital role in all aspects of economic activities around the globe. However, despite the great efforts that governments have made over the past three decades to increase women’s integration into the labor market, their participation is still relatively low compared to men. On the other hand, economic literature argues that the government can use fiscal policy tools such as tax revenue and spending to decrease gender inequality in the labor market. The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of government spending and tax revenue shocks on the female labor force participation rate (the share of women in the total labor force) in Egypt. Annual time-series data were collected from the Central Bank of Egypt and the World Bank from 1990 to 2021, where the vector autoregressive (VAR) model and impulse response functions have been used. The results suggest that government spending and tax revenue shocks increase gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, female labor force participation, and inflation. Results validated the research hypotheses and showed that a one standard deviation shock to either government spending or tax revenue has a positive impact on female labor force participation. Therefore, the study recommends that using an expansionary fiscal policy may increase the accessibility of Egyptian women to the labor market.
Full-text available
This article is the introduction to the Thematic Series Use and consequences of family policies among migrants and their descendants in Europe . The study contexts are countries in different Western European regions: Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy. Despite their differences with respect to welfare-state types in general and family policies in particular, these countries also vary when it comes to their immigration histories and current migrant populations. Yet, the fast-growing field of research on the effects of family polices on family and fertility behavior as well as work-family reconciliation has virtually overlooked migrants. To address this void in the existing literature, this Thematic Series raises two research questions: To what degree do family policies include, and are used by, migrants and their descendants? And, to what extent do such polices promote migrants’ integration into European societies? The collection contains six empirical articles investigating either eligibility or use and consequences of two specific family policy measures: parental leave and external childcare. Collectively, the studies show significant disadvantages among migrant groups in eligibility for family policy measures, and consequently in their use and impacts on further life-course patterns, compared to majority populations. They also demonstrate diverging patterns within migrant populations.
Full-text available
This paper examines the effect of an expansion of subsidized early child care on maternal labor market outcomes. It contributes to the literature by analyzing, apart from the employment rate, the adjustment of agreed working hours and especially of preferred working hours. Semi-parametric difference-in-differences estimation based on survey data from the German Microcensus results in positive effects on the employment rate, as well as on agreed and preferred working hours by up to 20% of the pre-reform mean. As agreed and preferred working hours adjust in line with each other, the expansion of early child care can tap labor market potentials beyond those of currently underemployed mothers. Moreover, conditional effects show that especially better educated and non-single mothers respond to the reform.
В данной работе мы изучаем длительность пребывания молодых матерей в отпуске по уходу за ребенком и факторы, которые оказывают на нее влияние. Для оценок мы использовали регрессионный анализ длительности событий, примененный к двадцатилетней панели данных национального репрезентативного обследования РМЭЗ НИУ-ВШЭ. Как показывают результаты исследования, при прочих равных более раннему выходу на работу из отпуска способствуют лучшая связь с рынком труда (более высокий уровень образования, наличие оплачиваемой работы накануне рождения ребенка), а также наличие внешних и внутрисемейных ресурсов по уходу за ребенком. Наоборот, сдерживают выход молодой матери на работу более зрелый возраст, рождение следующего ребенка, а также проживание в регионах с относительно низкой средней заработной платой. Также было показано, что вероятность более раннего выхода на работу после рождения первого ребенка в 2010-х годах значимо снизилась по сравнению с 2000-ми, что мы объясняем введением программы материнского капитала и усилением материальной поддержки семей с детьми, которые в совокупности со стагнацией трудовых доходов могли снизить заинтересованность семей в быстром возвращении молодых матерей на работу. Международные сравнения показывают, что Россия относится к группе стран с наибольшей длительностью оплачиваемого отпуска по беременности и родам и уходу за ребенком, находясь при этом лишь в 4-м квинтиле по уровню экономической активности женщин 15-64 лет. С учетом полученных результатов мы предлагаем совершенствовать политику в отношении родительских отпусков. Среди возможных способов модернизации существующей схемы могут быть рассмотрены гибкий отпуск (сокращение длительности при сохранении суммарных выплат), прерывистый отпуск (предоставление родителям права при необходимости вернуться к неоплачиваемому отпуску), а также введение непередаваемого отцовского отпуска.
Paid parental leave schemes have been shown to increase women’s employment rates but to decrease their wages in case of extended leave duration. In view of these potential trade-offs, many countries are discussing the optimal design of parental leave policies. We analyze the impact of a major parental leave reform on mothers’ long-term earnings. The 2007 German parental leave reform replaced a means-tested benefit with a more generous earnings-related benefit that is granted for a shorter period of time. Additionally, a ”daddy quota” of two months was introduced. To identify the causal effect of this policy mix on long-run earnings of mothers, we use a difference-in-differences approach that compares labor market outcomes of mothers who gave birth just before and right after the reform and nets out seasonal effects by including the year before. Using administrative social security data, we confirm previous findings and show that the average duration of employment interruptions increased for mothers with high pre-birth earnings. Nevertheless, we find a positive long-run effect on earnings for mothers in this group. This effect cannot be explained by changes in the selection of working mothers, working hours or changes in employer stability. Descriptive evidence suggests that the stronger involvement of fathers, incentivized by the ”daddy months”, could have facilitated mothers’ re-entry into the labor market and thereby increased earnings. For mothers with low pre-birth earnings, however, we do not find beneficial long-run effects of this parental leave reform.
Full-text available
Germany is known to have one of the lowest fertility rates among Western European countries and also relatively low employment rates of mothers with young children. Although these trends have been observed during the last decades, the German public has only recently begun discussing these issues. In order to reverse these trends, the German government recently passed a reform of the parental leave benefit system in line with the model practiced in Nordic countries. The core piece of the reform is the replacement of the existing means-tested parental leave benefit by a wage-dependent benefit for the period of one year. In this paper we simulate fiscal costs and expected labour market outcomes of this reform. Based on a micro-simulation model for Germany we calculate first-round effects, which assume no behavioural changes and second-round effects, where we take labour supply changes into account. Our results show that on average all income groups, couples and single households, benefit from the reform. The calculation of overall costs of the reform shows that the additional costs are moderate. As far as the labour market behaviour of parents is concerned, we find no significant changes of labour market outcomes in the first year after birth. However, in the second year, mothers increase their working hours and labour market participation significantly. Our results suggest that the reform will achieve one of its aims, namely the increase in the labour market participation of mothers with young children.
This paper explains why computing the marginal effect of a change in two variables is more complicated in nonlinear models than in linear models. The command inteff computes the correct marginal effect of a change in two interacted variables for a logit or probit model, as well as the correct standard errors. The inteff command graphs the interaction effect and saves the results to allow further investigation. Copyright 2004 by StataCorp LP.
We describe trends in maternal employment and leave-taking after birth of a newborn and analyze the extent to which these behaviors are influenced by parental leave policies. Data are from the June Current Population Survey (CPS) Fertility Supplements, merged with other months of the CPS, and cover the period 1987 to 1994. This time span is one during which parental leave legislation expanded at both the state and federal level. We also provide the first comprehensive examination of employment and leave-taking by fathers of infants. Our main finding is that leave expansions are associated with increased leave-taking by both mothers and fathers. The magnitudes of the changes are small in absolute terms but large relative to the baseline for men and much greater for college-educated or married mothers than for their less-educated or single counterparts.
After the introduction in Section 2, we very briefly sketch out current theoretical and empirical developments in the social sciences. In our view, they all point in the same direction: toward the acute and increasing need for multidisciplinary longitudinal data covering a wide range of living conditions and based on a multitude of variables from the social sciences for both theoretical investigation and the evaluation of policy measures. Cohort and panel studies are therefore called upon to become truly interdisciplinary tools. In Section 3, we describe the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), in which we discuss recent improvements of that study which approach this ideal and point out existing shortcomings. Section 4 concludes with a discussion of potential future issues and developments for SOEP and other household panel studies.
We examine the impact of maternity leaves on the period mothers are away from work postbirth and the likelihood they return to their prebirth employer. We use the introduction and expansion of statutory job-protected maternity leave entitlements in Canada to identify these effects. We find that modest leave entitlements of 17-18 weeks do not change the amount of time mothers spend away from work. In contrast, longer leaves do have a substantive impact on behavior, leading to more time spent at home. We also find that all entitlements we examined increase job continuity with the prebirth employer. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago.
"Since 1979 German federal maternity leave and benefit policy has given women incentives to stay at home and take care of their newborn and youngest children. In 1986 this leave and benefit policy was changed in several ways, turning it into a powerful instrument for delaying mothers' return to work after childbirth.... We estimate post childbirth return to work hazards for women during the federally protected leave protection period and immediately upon completion of this leave period. During the leave mothers are less likely to return to work the longer is the time left in the leave protection period; however, this result cannot be attributed generally to high levels of maternity benefits. When the leave protection period ends, mothers with strong labor force attachment who are still on leave return to their jobs."
German federal law has increased the potential duration of maternity leave five times since 1985. A theoretical model demonstrates that the cumulative return probability at potential duration cannot decline unless the mother's employment conditions or career expectations change. We estimate return to work hazards from the German Socio-Economic Panel for women bearing children in the period 1984–1991 and predict cumulative return probabilities for first-time mothers and mothers with a previous birth. The pattern of cumulative return probabilities as potential duration increases is consistent with the hypothesis that employment conditions or career expectations frequently change for mothers taking longer leaves. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003
  • Han W. -J