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CentrePiece article
Economic consequences of family policies
Claudia Olivetti and Barbara Petrongolo
July 2018
Paper No' CEPCP533:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 23 (2) Summer 2018

JEL Classification: J13; J16; J18

Tags: parental leave; childcare; family policies; gender gaps

There is no compelling evidence that extended parental leave rights have a positive impact on female employment, according to research by Claudia Olivetti and Barbara Petrongolo, which analyses the labour market effects of family-oriented policies – such as parental leave, childcare support and flexible work arrangements – in 30 OECD countries over 45 years. Their study finds that job-protected parental leave entitlements up to 18 months are associated with better female employment and wage outcomes. But longer and more generously paid parental leave entitlements may be detrimental to female employment, especially for the less skilled. Making it easier to be a working mother, via subsidised childcare, leads to better labour market outcomes than extending parental leave.

This article summarises 'The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries', Claudia Olivetti Barbara Petrongolo, CEP Discussion Paper No.1464, January 2017