Uptake of parental leave and effects on second birth hazards in Belgium, France and Germany: a shared frailty approach

Jonas Wood, Universiteit Antwerpen
Karel Neels, Universiteit Antwerpen

The impact of policy uptake on childbearing has hitherto largely been neglected in most contributions. This paper studies the impact of leave-taking for the first child on second birth hazards in Belgium, France and Germany using a shared frailty approach which allows to control for unobserved heterogeneity. Results show a positive relation between uptake of leave policies and second births. Controlling for selection attenuates the positive association, but the effect remains significant. While leave-taking is much more prevalent among higher educated women, the effect of parental leave on parity progression is similar across educational groups. Although additional efforts are required to distinguish causal effects from self-selection, which presents an ongoing source of concern in research focusing on the effects of family policies, we also identify design features of parental leave schemes and differential uptake of family policies as relevant routes for future research.

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Presented in Session 86: Family policy and fertility