Changes in the Parental Benefit Scheme in the Czech Republic and Their Potential Impact on Reproductive Behaviour Cover Image

Změny nastavení rodičovského příspěvku v Česku a jejich možný dopad na reprodukční chování
Changes in the Parental Benefit Scheme in the Czech Republic and Their Potential Impact on Reproductive Behaviour

Author(s): Anna Šťastná
Subject(s): Social development, Family and social welfare
Published by: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
Keywords: family policy; parental benefit; reproductive behaviour; birth intervals; education; Czech Republic

Summary/Abstract: Childcare leave schemes are one of the key measures that affect the ability of women and men to balance their work and family lives. Both the length of the parental leave period and the amount of the benefit have the potential to shape the timing of a subsequent birth. Important changes have been introduced into the Czech parental benefit scheme over the last 10 years in terms of both the scheme’s flexibility and the monthly amount of the benefit, which has provided a unique opportunity for studying the links between the institutional conditions of parenthood and the behaviour of real stakeholders. Using data on births from the Czech Statistical Office and the parity-cohort analytical approach, we investigate changes in the spacing of second and third births among women who had their first or second child between 1986 and 2013. The results revealed an increase in the second- and third-birth rate during the second and third year following a delivery, together with a decrease in the second- and third-birth rate during the fourth year and later among mothers exposed to changes in the parental benefit scheme. These changes in reproductive behaviour noticeably coincided with the incentives that have been provided since 2008 by the increased flexibility of the parental leave scheme and the author argues that the option to increase the monthly amount of the parental benefit together with the flexibility of its use has contributed to the closer spacing of births, most notably among more educated women.

  • Issue Year: 55/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 31-60
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: Czech