Frisch seminar: Astrid Kunze

Does Paid Parental Leave Help or Hurt Mothers' Economic Progress?

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Abstrakt: We examine the long-run impact of government-funded paid parental leave extensions on the likelihood that mothers reach top-pay jobs and executive positions. Our focus is on a series of policy reforms in Norway that expanded paid maternity leave from short to long leave, that is 18 to 38 weeks, and introduced a quota of five weeks reserved to fathers. Our estimates show that, up to a quarter of a century after childbirth, such reforms neither help nor hurt mothers' chances to be at the top of their companies' pay ranking or in leadership positions. The expansions had no differential effect on intra-firm pay success across a number of characteristics, such as maternal education, number of children, firm size, and industry. They also left unaffected other outcomes which could have led to a change in within-firm pay ranking, including hours worked, internal promotions, and job mobility. None of the reforms affected fathers' pay. Finally, the leave reforms had no effect on the gender pay gaps between mothers and their male colleagues whether at the top or across the whole pay distribution within their companies. The same null result emerges in the case of the pay differentials between mothers and their partners.


Published July 29, 2021 1:07 PM - Last modified Oct. 29, 2021 10:52 AM