Discussion Papers no. 657

Causal effects of paternity leave on children and parents

In this paper we use a parental leave reform directed towards fathers to identify the causal effects of paternity leave on children's and parents' outcomes. We document that paternity leave causes fathers to become more important for children's cognitive skills. School performance at age 16 increases for children whose father is relatively higher educated than the mother. We find no evidence that fathers' earnings and work hours are affected by paternity leave. Contrary to expectation, mothers' labor market outcomes are adversely affected by paternity leave. Our findings do therefore not suggest that paternity leave shifts the gender balance at home in a way that increases mothers' time and/or effort spent at market work.

Om publikasjonen


Causal effects of paternity leave on children and parents


Sara Lena Yri Cools, Jon Hernes Fiva, Lars Johannessen Kirkebøen

Serie og -nummer

Discussion Papers no. 657


Statistics Norway


Discussion Papers



Antall sider




Om Discussion Papers

Discussion papers comprise research papers intended for international journals and books. A preprint of a Discussion Paper may be longer and more elaborate than a standard journal article as it may include intermediate calculations, background material etc.