Research

Work in progress:
Estimating the effect of maternal stress on birth outcomes in Chile: a pseudo-panel approach (with Rocio Alvarez Aranda and Gabriel Romero)


Sex-selective abortion: missing girls in Armenia (with Sona Kalantaryan)

Working Papers:
Below replacement: recent trends in Chilean fertility and parental leave reform, 2016 (pdf)

Abstract:
This paper focuses on the effects of paid, job-protected parental leave on the Chilean birth rates. The analysis is based on a Chilean reform introduced the parental leave system in 2011. The reform established 18 weeks of paid, job-protected leave for working parents. Using data from Vital Statistics on the population of birth between 2010-2013 I analyze the impact of the introduced incentives on the conception rates. I find that the reform has a positive impact on the fertility decision in the short-run, the conception rates increases around 0.45 child per thousand working women. The effect is pronounced both for a first and second children. In addition, fertility responses vary across the Chilean regions. The effect duplicates in the regions in comparison with Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile.

Do Pro-natalist Policies Reverse Depopulation in Russia?, 2016 (pdf)

Abstract:
In this paper, I focus on the fertility decisions of Russian women to analyze the reasons underlying low birth rates. In particular, I study the 2006 Russian family policy reform, which introduced the concept of “maternity capital” and changed the system of parental leave benefits. The reform was designed to support a woman's decision for higher birth orders. Using the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey for the period 2001-2011, I analyze the impact of the introduced incentives on the decision to have a second child. I estimate a fertility decision exploiting the financial incentive variation. The findings show that the reform has a positive impact on the probability of having a second child. On average, the probability increases 3:5 percentage points. The effect varies significantly across age and education. The findings suggest that an increase in parental benefits and access to maternal capital had a positive impact on the fertility dynamics in the short run. 

The Impact of Parental Leave Policy on Child Rearing and Employment Behaviour: the Case of Germany, 2014 (pdf)

Abstract:
This paper studies the effects of policy changes induced by the German parental leave reform of 2007 on return-to-work and child-rearing behaviour. In particular, the reform sought to decrease birth-related employment breaks through increased parental benefits and shortened paid leave period. To identify the behavioural response to the introduced incentives, we estimate a bivariate choice model of maternal employment and child-care decision. Using German Socio-Economic Panel Data (SOEP) for 2002-2010, the empirical results show that the policy has a significant negative effect on the employment breaks related to motherhood. The probability of return-to-work during the first two years of motherhood decreases by 2.45 percentage points. The effect persists both for the first and second year of child rearing. The impact is amplified for mothers with a regular part-time job. The results suggest that change in parental benefits has allowed mothers to compensate wage losses from the part-time employment and reallocate their time in favour of child care. The direct impact of the reform on the child rearing behaviour is insignificant. We argue that the mother remains a principal child-care provider due to the restricted availability of child-care institutions.

Parental Leave Policies, Fertility Decisions and Delayed Motherhood: Evidence from Germany, 2014 (pdf)
Abstract:
This paper investigates the effects of the German parental leave reform of 2007 on female fertility decisions. Exploiting variation in financial incentives generated by the reform, we estimate a bivariate choice model of the transition to the first and second childbirth. The analysis is based on the German Socio-Economic Household Panel for the period of 2001-2010. The empirical findings confirm the significant shift in the reproductive behaviour of full-time employed women after the reform implementation. Childless couples tend to postpone their entrance into motherhood, while mothers with one child have higher probabilities of a second birth.