Study: Dads Who Take Parental Leave May Delay Having More Kids

Luke BenedictusBy Luke Benedictus.
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Dads who take parental leave are more likely to postpone having additional children, a study in Spain has found.

In March 2017, Spain introduced two weeks of fully paid parental leave for dads.

But a study published in the Journal of Public Economics suggested that, two years on, parents who took advantage of the scheme were waiting longer to have additional kids compared with the couples that did not.

Lídia Farré of the University of Barcelona and Libertad González of University of Pompeu Fabra said the scheme had “led to delays in subsequent fertility”.

“We also found that older eligible couples were less likely to have an additional child within the following six years after the introduction of the reform,” they added.

Farré and González believe having to spend more time with their kids has made men more aware of the general craziness that bringing up small children entails. The researchers argued that the initiative had “shifted their preferences from child quantity to quality”.

“They’re spending more time with the child they already have,” González told The Guardian. Her theory is that “they could value investing more in this child versus having more of them”.

“Or it could also be that dads are learning about how hard it is to take care of a child, and this new information is affecting their preferences for how many children they want to have in total.”