The length of parents' total birth related leave was increased with almost 50% in 1984 in Denmark. The previous length of the Danish maternity leave was long, especially compared to e.g. the U.S. today. This paper investigates the long term effects on children of increasing length of birth related leave from 14 to 20 weeks. We use differences-in-differences regression discontinuity design to identify the causal effect of the leave reform and it estimated whether such a large increase in the mandated leave period has a large measurable and persistent effect on children's cognitive and educational outcomes. A 100% sample Danish population born in May, June, July, and August 1983, 1984, and 1985 and a dataset with Danish PISA-2000 scores are used for the estimations. Preliminary results indicate there is no positive effect on children's cognitive outcomes from increasing parents' mandated birth related leave period from 14 to 20 weeks.
Maternity leave; Parental leave; Child development