Becker Friedman Institute

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Parental Investments in Early Life and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Swedish Parental Leave Rules

We study how parental resources early in life affect children’s health and education exploiting the so-called speed premium (SP) in the Swedish parental leave system. The SP grants mothers higher parental leave benefits for the subsequent child without re-establishing eligibility through pre-birth market work if the two births occur within a pre-specified interval. This allow us to use a Regression Discontinuity framework. We find that the SP improves the educational outcomes of the first-born child, but not of the second-born. Impacts are driven by a combination of a positive income shock, and substitution from informal care to maternal time.

Authors: 
Rita Ginja, University of Bergen
Jenny Jans, Uppsala University
Arizo Karimi, Uppsala University
Publication Date: 
November, 2017
Publication Status: 
Document Number: 
2017-085
File Description: 
First version, October 29, 2017