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Do family policies reduce gender inequality? Evidence from 60 years of policy experimentation

Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen, Landais, Camille ORCID: 0000-0002-9534-680X, Posch, Johanna, Steinhauer, Andreas and Zweimüller, Josef (2022) Do family policies reduce gender inequality? Evidence from 60 years of policy experimentation. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. ISSN 1945-7731 (In Press)

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Do family policies reduce gender inequality in the labor market? We contribute to this debate by investigating the joint impact of parental leave and child care, using administrative data covering the labor market and birth histories of Austrian workers over more than half a century. We start by quasi-experimentally identifying the causal effects of all family policy reforms since the 1950s, including the introduction of maternal leave benefits in 1961, on the full dynamics of male and female earnings. We then use these causal estimates to compute gender inequality series for counterfactual scenarios regarding the evolution of family policies. Our results show that the enormous expansions of parental leave and child care subsidies have had virtually no impact on gender convergence.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 American Economic Journal.
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J0 - General > J00 - General
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2024 10:21

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