The Importance of Relative Differences in Workplace Characteristics between Partners for Their Parental Leave-Taking Behaviour

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Marie VALENTOVA, LISER, Luxembourg
Parental leave is one the key policies that facilitate reconciliation of family and work life. There is extensive literature dealing with individual determinants of parental leave uptake among mothers and fathers, including individual workplace characteristics of mothers and fathers separately. However, only little has been done on the relationship between relative partners’ characteristics and parental leave up-take. In the present paper, we bridge this gap in the current research by analyzing how parental leave up-take associates with relative differences in partner’s hourly wages, number of hours worked and work place characteristics (such as public-private sector, firm size, blue-white-collar work). This approach allows for better understanding of the link between intra-couple setting and higher leave take-up among parents. We use the administrative social security data from 1999 – 2007 from Luxembourg to cover the entire population of the country. Our analysis reveal that father’s leave up-take increases significantly if mother has high hourly wage, mother works in private sector while man works in public one, woman works more hours per month than her partner, and if man works in a large firms while mother works in a small one. Mother’s leave up-take appears to be lees affected by relative differences in couples’ characteristics than we observe among fathers. The only relative difference that slightly increases the mother’s up-take is when mother has a notably lower hourly wage than her partner does and when she works less hours per month.