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Do Family Policies Reduce Gender Inequality? Evidence from 60 Years of Policy Experimentation

Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais (), Johanna Posch, Andreas Steinhauer () and Josef Zweimüller ()

No 28082, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Do family policies reduce gender inequality in the labor market? We contribute to this debate by investigating the joint impact of parental leave and child care, using administrative data covering the labor market and birth histories of Austrian workers over more than half a century. We start by quasi-experimentally identifying the causal effects of all family policy reforms since the 1950s, including the introduction of maternal leave benefits in 1961, on the full dynamics of male and female earnings. We then use these causal estimates to compute gender inequality series for counterfactual scenarios regarding the evolution of family policies. Our results show that the enormous expansions of parental leave and child care subsidies have had virtually no impact on gender convergence.

JEL-codes: H31 H42 J08 J13 J16 J18 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur, nep-gen, nep-his and nep-lab
Note: CH LS PE
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