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Autoren: 
Danzer, Natalia
Halla, Martin
Schneeweis, Nicole
Zweimüller, Martina
Datum: 
2017
Reihe/Nr.: 
CESifo Working Paper 6501
Zusammenfassung: 
We provide a novel interpretation of the estimated treatment effects from evaluations of parental leave reforms. Accounting for the counterfactual mode of care is crucial in the analysis of child outcomes and potential mediators. We evaluate a large and generous parental leave extension in Austria exploiting a sharp birthday cutoff-based discontinuity in the eligibility for extended parental leave and geographical variation in formal childcare. We find that estimated treatment effects on long-term child outcomes differ substantially according to the availability of formal childcare and the mother’s counterfactual work behavior. We show that extending parental leave has significant positive effects on children’s health and human capital outcomes only if the reform induces a replacement of informal childcare with maternal care. We conclude that care provided by mothers (or formal institutions) is superior to informal care arrangements.
Schlagwörter: 
parental leave
formal childcare
informal childcare
child development
maternal labor supply
fertility
JEL: 
J13
H52
J22
J12
I38
Dokumentart: 
Working Paper

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