When Dad Stays Home

Exploring the Impact of Paternal Leave Policies
Jun 16, 2016

Lack of access to parental leave—whether paid or unpaid—has serious consequences for families around the world. As policymakers contend with this issue, a key area that many focus on is promoting opportunities for fathers to take time off work to care for their families at home.

Mathematica researcher Ankita Patnaik has studied the impact of the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, which was designed to raise awareness about family leave programs and encourage more fathers to take advantage of them. Patnaik found that the program had a positive impact in promoting gender equality—improving women’s time in paid work and balancing the distribution of childcare and housework. (Read the full study and a briefing report.)

Patnaik will talk about this study at a June 22 congressional briefing on “New Health and Economic Research on Work and Family Policies in the United States and Canada,” hosted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the Work and Family Researchers Network. In the following video clips, she addresses the challenges and impacts of paternal leave policies.

What barriers exist for men in terms of taking paternal leave? And why is it important to remove these barriers?


Based on your research, what impact can enhanced paternal leave have in the long term? What is the impact on the whole family?


Why should policymakers consider paternal leave an important issue in terms of improving societal well-being?


What have you learned through your study in Quebec about the best approaches to developing paternal leave policies?


What lessons can policymakers in the U.S. and elsewhere take from your research?


Learn more about Mathematica’s family support research.


The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not represent those of Mathematica Policy Research.

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