Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canada

Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canada

Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canada

Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canadas

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Référence bibliographique [20925]

Wray, Dana. 2020. «Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canada ». Journal of Marriage and Family, vol. 82, no 2, p. 534-549.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«This study extends prior research conceptually and methodologically by examining the longer term impact of reserved paternity leave policy on father involvement.» (p. 535)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«This study uses two cross-sectional waves of time use data (N =34,987) from the 2005 (Cycle 19) and 2010 (Cycle 24) Canadian GSS [General Social Survey] public use microdata files collected by Statistics Canada. The 2005 and 2010 GSS ask one selected respondent per household, drawn from a nationally representative sample of Canadians aged 15 and older, to recall information on their activities during a 24-hour period on a designated day, including the type of activity, the duration (in minutes), and the presence of others (e.g., spouse, child, friend). To create the analytic sample, only fathers with a household child were included (30,627 cases dropped).» (p. 540) Moreover, the «independent variable of interest is the interaction between the time period—prereform (2005) versus postreform (2010)—and the geographical region—Quebec (treatment group) and the ROC [rest of Canada] (control group).» (p. 541)

Instruments :
Questionnaire

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


The author finds «strong evidence that the implementation of a reserved paternity leave policy in Quebec led to an increase in fathers’ responsibility for children through increased solo time spent accessible to children. Up to 3 years after fathers were eligible for leave, they spent about 2.2 hours more per week on average accessible to their children without the mother present. This is consistent with previous research that finds an association between leave-taking and fathers’ responsibility […], but provides stronger evidence of a direct relationship between policy and behavior. Given that this increase is estimated at the population level and that one fifth of eligible Quebec fathers do not take leave […], this could potentially be a conservative estimate of the effect. This shift in fathers’ responsibility has pivotal implications not only for fathers but also for the entire family. Solo time is “qualitatively different” from time mediated by the presence of the mother[:] It requires that fathers take on heightened responsibility for anticipating and attending to children’s needs as the primary parent, if only temporarily […]. Fathers’ increased solo care is associated with increased spousal relationship stability between spouses […] and stronger father–child bonds […].» (p. 544-545)