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The Long-Term Effect on Children of Increasing the Length of Parents' Birth-Related Leave

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The length of parents' birth-related leave varies across countries and has been subject of some debate. In this paper, I will focus on some potential benefits of leave. I investigate the long-term effects on children of increasing the length of parents' birth-related leave using a natural experiment from 1984 in Denmark when the leave length was increased quite suddenly by almost 50% from 14 to 20 weeks. Regression discontinuity design is used to identify the causal effect of the leave reform and to estimate whether there is a measurable, persistent effect on children's cognitive and educational outcomes at ages 15 and 21. A population sample of Danish children born in the months around implementation of the reform and a dataset with Danish PISA-2000 scores are used for the analysis. Results indicate that increasing parents' access to birth-related leave has no measurable effect on children's long-term cognitive outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherAarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Department of Economics
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9788778822437
ISBN (Electronic)9788778822444
Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Research areas

  • Maternity leave, parental leave, child outcomes

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