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Title:The duration of paid parental leave and cildren's scholastic performance PDF Logo
Authors:Liu, Qian
Nordström Skans, Oskar
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:Working paper // IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation 2009:14
Abstract:We study how the duration of paid parental leave affects the accumulation of cognitive skills among children. We use a reform which extended parental leave benefits from 12 to 15 months for Swedish children born after August 1988 to evaluate the effects of prolonged parental leave on children’s test scores and grades at age 16. We show that, on average, the reform had no effect on children’s scholastic performance. However, we do find positive effects for children of well-educated mothers, a result that is robust to a number of different specifications. We find no corresponding heterogeneity relative to parental earnings or fathers’ education, or relative to other predictors of child perforÿ­mance. We find no effects on intermediate outcomes such as mothers’ subsequent earnÿ­ings, child health, parental fertility, divorce rates, or the mothers’ mental health. Overall the results suggest positive causal interaction effects between mothers’ education and the amount of time mothers spend with their children. Since the institutional context is one in which the alternative is subsidized day care, the results imply that subsidizing longer parental leave spells rather than day care reinforce the relationship between matÿ­ernal education and school outcomes.
Subjects:Maternal employment
Education
Human capital
Cognitive skills
JEL:I21
J13
J24
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Working Papers, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

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