The Effect of Maternity Leave Expansions on Fertility Intentions: Evidence from Switzerland
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We study the effect of the expansion of the mandatory paid maternity leave, implemented in Switzerland in 2005, on individuals’ fertility intentions. Earlier literature found evidence of fertility increases induced by maternity leave expansions from other countries of a relatively large magnitude of 1 year. The expansion that we consider was smaller, from 8 unpaid weeks to 14 mandatory paid weeks, and thus its effect on fertility decisions is less evident ex ante. Nevertheless, we find that it positively impacts fertility planning even though, by construction, our model specification cannot capture its full effect. The strongest effects are elicited in the subsamples of men, individuals with two children, and individuals aged between 31 and 36. There are several channels through which the maternity leave expansion may affect individuals’ child planning, all indicative of a positive effect on the fertility rate.
KeywordsMaternity leave Child planning Fertility
JEL ClassificationD04 J13 J18 N34
We thank helpful comments from Padmaja Ayyagari, Giulia La Mattina, and Joshua Wilde.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Andrei Barbos declares that he has no conflict of interest, Stefani Milovanska-Farrington declares that she has no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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