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In 2001, a new reform was adopted in Iceland, guaranteeing fathers three months paternity leave, implemented in stages. Parents who had a child in 2001 had the option to add one month of paternity leave to the existing 6 month long parental leave which they would have to forgo if not used by the father while parents who had a child before were did not get this option. This created large economic incentives for parents to involve fathers in caring for their children during their first months. In this paper we use the precise timing of the introduction of the paternal quota in Iceland to evaluate the causal effects of paternity leave on parents’ earnings, the gender wage gap and marital stability. The results are obtained using detailed register based panel data, comparing families who had a child just before or just after the reform. Spouses who are entitled to paternity leave are less likely to divorce during the first years of the child’s life, the period where most divorces take place. Furthermore, we also find that the reform reduced the earnings gap between couples.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2014
Event - Toulouse, France

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Economic Association & Econometric Society 2014 Parallel Meetings
CountryFrance
CityToulouse
Period25/08/201429/08/2014
Internet address

ID: 42621035