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Abstract for:

Reducing Mommy Penalties with Daddy Quotas

Allison Dunatchik,  Berkay Özcan,  May 2019
Paper No' CASE/213: Full paper (pdf)
Paper copy now out of print.
Tags: family policy; maternal employment; work-family balance; families and work; labor force participation


This paper investigates whether daddy quotas - non-transferable paternity leave policies - mitigate motherhood penalties women face in the labor market. Using the introduction of a daddy quota in Quebec, Canada as a natural experiment, the authors employ labor force survey data to conduct a difference-in-difference estimation of the policy’s impact on a range of mothers’ career outcomes. The results suggest Quebec mothers exposed to the policy are 5 percentage points more likely to participate in the labor force and to work full-time, 5 percentage points less likely to work part-time, and 4 percentage points less likely to be unemployed. These results are robust to an alternative semiparametric difference-in-difference methodology and to a battery of placebo and sensitivity tests. However, the authors find that the policy’s effects are largest two to three years post-reform, reducing in size and significance thereafter, raising questions about the durability of such effects.