Work-Family Reconciliation and Use of Parental Leave in Luxembourg. Empirical Analysis of Administrative Records

Nevena Zhelyazkova, UNU-MERIT / School of Governance

The goal of this dissertation is to find out what are the main patterns of work-family reconciliation and in particular what is the role of leave policies in these patterns. The analysis is based on administrative data from Luxembourg.

The arrival of a child in the family poses a significant challenge for most parents. Both time and money need to be managed in a different way in order to ensure that the newborn can receive sufficient care. Parents make different decisions and make use of different resources and social security provisions for meeting this challenge.

The analysis in the dissertation starts by reconstructing the life course of individuals as sequences of consecutive states of different duration. In this way it is possible to trace out the labour force participation of working parents, as well as their use of social security provisions, such as parental leave, sick leave, unemployment benefits, etc. The analysis of trajectories is complemented by other statistical tools such as logit models and a duration model.

The results suggest that the birth of a child is a turning point for a large part of women's trajectories, whereby it is very likely that women reduce their labour force participation afterwards. As expected, opportunity cost in terms of foregone monthly earnings is negatively associated with probability of dropping out of the labour force at the first and the third step in the decision process: namely the decision to remain in the labour force after having a child and the decision to return to work after parental leave.

In contrast, men's labour participation appears to remain constant before and after the arrival of the child in the family. As expected, the empirical analysis indicates that there is a negative relationship between salary-related earnings and taking parental leave. However, surprisingly, increasing salary growth is associated with higher probability to use parental leave.

The PhD project has been supported by the National Research Fund, Luxembourg.

Venue: Aula, Minderbroedersberg 4-6, Maastricht

Date: 04 February 2015

Time: 14:00 - 15:30