NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Serena P. Canaan

American University of Beirut
P.O.Box 11-0236 / Department of Economics
Riad El-Solh
Beirut
Lebanon

E-Mail: sc24@aub.edu.lb
Institutional Affiliation: American University of Beirut

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2020Is Parental Leave Costly for Firms and Coworkers?
with Anne A. Brenøe, Nikolaj A. Harmon, Heather N. Royer: w26622
Most existing evidence on the effectiveness of family leave policies comes from studies focusing on their impacts on affected families - mothers, fathers, and their children - without a clear understanding of the costs and effects on firms and coworkers. We estimate the effect of a female employee giving birth and taking parental leave on small firms and coworkers in Denmark. 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. We find little evidence that parental leave take-up has negative eff...
 
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