Are Equity‐Promoting Paternity Leave Policies Associated With Higher Rates of Parenthood? By: Feldman, Karie; Gran, Brian. Family Relations. Oct2020, Vol. 69 Issue 4, p779-791. 13p.

Objective: This study aims to explore how equitable paternity leave policy may combine with other family policy to impact fertility levels.

Background: The decision to start a family is personal but takes place in the context of policies that vary in level of support. Although policies offering fathers paid leave from work are expected to promote gender equity and make family formation easier, these policies have been implemented with little evidence of effectiveness.

Method: This study uses fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis to study data from the International Labour Organization, the World Bank, and the International Leave Network to compare policies systematically across 43 countries.

Results: Employing the paternity leave equity typology, evidence suggests that high increases in fertility are found in countries where paternity leave policies promote equity in combination with other factors, or in less affluent countries where women tend to start families later and experience less paid labor market participation.

Conclusion: This research suggests that a one‐size‐fits‐all approach may not promote fertility.

Implications: In addition to equity in parental leave, policymakers should consider a range of factors that affect parents, especially women’s participation in the workforce and age at first birth. Further research is needed to identify conditions in which equitable paternity leaves are most effective so policymakers can develop evidence‐based policies best suited to meeting their goals.