Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Bergen, Department of Economics

No 06/10: A Flying Start? Long Term Consequences of Maternal Time Investments in Children During Their First Year of Life

Pedro Carneiro (), Katrine Vellesen Løken () and Kjell Gunnar Salvanes ()
Additional contact information
Pedro Carneiro: University College London, Postal: Department of Economics, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom, ,
Katrine Vellesen Løken: University of Bergen, Postal: Department of Economics, Fosswinckelsgt. 14, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
Kjell Gunnar Salvanes: Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics, and Business Administration, Helleveien 30,, N-5035 Bergen-Sandviken, Norway

Abstract: We study the impact on children of increasing the time that the mother spends with her child in the first year by exploiting a reform that increased paid and unpaid maternity leave in Norway. The reform increased maternal leave on average by 4 months and family income was unaffected. The increased time with the child led to a 2.7 percentage points decline in high school dropout. For mothers with low education we find a 5.2 percentage points decline. The effect is especially large for children of mothers who prior to the reform, would take very low levels of unpaid leave.

Keywords: employment; income; family; education

JEL-codes: J21; J22

64 pages, October 1, 2010

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