NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Anne Ardila Brenøe

University of Zurich
Department of Economics
Schoenberggasse 1
8001 Zurich
Switzerland

E-Mail: anne.brenoe@econ.uzh.ch
Institutional Affiliation: University of Zurich

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2020Is Parental Leave Costly for Firms and Coworkers?
with Serena P. Canaan, Nikolaj A. Harmon, Heather N. Royer: w26622
Most of the existing evidence on the effectiveness of family leave policies comes from studies focusing on their impacts on affected families - that is, mothers, fathers, and their children - without a clear understanding of the costs and effects on firms and coworkers. We use data from Denmark to evaluate the effect on firms and coworkers when a worker gives birth and goes on leave. Using a dynamic difference-in-differences design, we compare small firms in which a female employee is about to give birth to an observationally equivalent sample of small firms with female employees who are not close to giving birth. Identification rests on a parallel trends assumption, which we substantiate through a set of natural validity checks. When an employee gives birth she goes on leave from her firm...
 
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