Different types of parental leave use by German fathers and their engagement in childcare in subsequent years Cover Image

Different types of parental leave use by German fathers and their engagement in childcare in subsequent years
Different types of parental leave use by German fathers and their engagement in childcare in subsequent years

Author(s): Thordis Reimer, Brigit Pfau-Effinger
Subject(s): Politics, Sociology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: fathers; parental leave; childcare; leave alone;

Summary/Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between different aspects of the parental leave use by German fathers and their subsequent engagement in childcare. The relationship between the use of parental leave by fathers and their time spent on childcare on weekdays in subsequent years is broken down by three different details to parental leave use (duration, timing and partner’s employment status during parental leave). It also examines whether fathers who take parental leave provide more childcare even before they take the parental leave compared to fathers who do not use parental leave. The study is based on German panel data and applies group comparisons with t-test and difference-in-differences analysis. The results demonstrate that if fathers take more than two months’ leave or if they take parental leave alone they spend on average more time on childcare after the leave period than fathers not using parental leave. The differences to fathers with no leave use are strongest for fathers who take advantage of leave alone. i.e. when their partner is working. We also discover that on average, fathers on leave (alone) are not inclined to more childcare before the parental leave period compared to fathers not using parental leave.. Based on identity theory and the undoing gender framework, the cautious interpretation of the results is that fathers who are on leave for more than two months or were on leave alone experience a shift in their commitment to childcare during the leave period.

  • Issue Year: 48/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 7-26
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: English