Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2016:23: Modern family? Paternity leave and marital stability

Daniel Avdic () and Arizo Karimi ()
Additional contact information
Daniel Avdic: University of Duisburg-Essen, IFAU, CINCH, Postal: Essen, Germany
Arizo Karimi: Department of Economics at Uppsala University, UCLS, IFAU, Postal: Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: We study the effects of unanticipated changes to the intra-household division of parental leave on family stability exploiting two parental leave reforms in Sweden. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we find that a decrease in the mother’s share of parental leave increases the probability of separation among couples that were married or cohabiting at the time of the reforms. Our results also suggest a lower likelihood of cohabiting couples to upgrade to marriage. Examination of reform compliers reveal that the increased separation risk is mainly driven by more traditional couples, and among couples with previous children.

Keywords: marital stability; parental leave; intra-household division; regression discontinuity

JEL-codes: C26; D13; J13; J31

64 pages, December 19, 2016

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