Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/170796
Authors: 
Danzer, Natalia
Halla, Martin
Schneeweis, Nicole
Zweimüller, Martina
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10812
Abstract: 
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.
Subjects: 
maternal labor supply
child development
informal childcare
formal childcare
parental leave
fertility
JEL: 
J13
H52
J22
J12
I38
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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