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Anna Raute - Queen Mary University London

Anna Raute (Queen Mary University London) will present "Paid Parental Leave and Paternity Acknowledgement " with Andrea Weber (Central European University) and Galina Zudenkova (TU Dortmund University).

Abstract :
With a large share of children growing up in single mother households and at risk of poverty, it is important to understand how public policies affect the involvement of fathers. This paper assesses the role of parental leave, an important pillar of social insurance, on the relationship contract choice of parents unmarried at conception. Exploiting Germany’s introduction of earnings-dependent leave, we find that replacing mother’s foregone earnings post birth resulted in an increase in paternity establishment, especially for sons. The overall surge in paternity acknowledgement was driven by a reduction in the share of births to single mothers by 6% rather than a reduction in shot-gun marriages. In contrast to widespread public concerns, our results suggest that increasing support for new mothers can in fact encourage unmarried fathers’ legal involvement.