Poster Paper: Making Leave Easier: Better Compensation and Daddy-Only Entitlements

Saturday, November 9, 2013
West End Ballroom A (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Ankita Patnaik, Cornell University
This paper investigates a policy reform to Parental Leave in Quebec in 2006 that increased the generosity of leave entitlements, imrpoved flexibility, and instituted a ‘daddy’ quota of paternity leave. I investigate the impact of this reform on fathers’ participation rates, and mothers’ participation rates, leave duration, exit rates and job continuity. I also explore how the impact may have differed amongst sub-groups: low-income, poorly educated or first-time mothers.

Using data spanning 2001-2010 from the Employment Insurance Coverage Survey and employing a difference-in-difference technique, I find that the reform was associated with a striking rise in fathers’ participation: an increase of 55-60 percentage points in the probability of making a claim. In the case of mothers, I find a smaller increase of 13-16 percentage points in claim rates, but find that, on average, the duration of their leave increased by approximately half a month, and by even more for first-time mothers. I find no change in mothers' exit rates from the labor market but do find an increase of nearly 4 percentage points in the probability of returning to the pre-birth employer. In most cases, the point estimates indicate particularly large changes for mothers from less-advantaged subgroups, suggesting that the benefits of the reform were largest among the women least likely to have taken paid leave under the original system. In the case of fathers however, the results for equity are not as encouraging: men from less-advantaged sub-groups experienced smaller increases in uptake rates than their more educated, higher-earning counterparts.