The impacts of maternity leave reforms: Evidence from Finland
Comment to "Paid Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes" (Danzer and Lavy, 2018)
Danzer and Lavy (2018) study how the duration of paid parental leave affects children's educational performance using data from PISA. The extension of the maximum duration from 12 to 24 months had large and significant heterogenous effects, that vary in sign depending on the education of mothers. The policy increased the scores obtained by sons of highly educated mothers by 0.33 standard deviations in Reading and 0.40 in Science. On the contrary, sons of lower educated mothers experienced a decrease of 0.27 in Reading and 0.23 in Science. In this comment, I show that these estimates become substantially lower and non-significant when the appropriate estimation procedure is used taking into account that PISA relies on imputations to derive student scores.
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