Becoming a mompreneur: Parental leave policies and mothers' propensity for self-employment

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Contractionary parental leave policy reforms decrease the time mothers can stay at home after giving birth. This might discourage them to become an entrepreneur. Exploiting a German parental leave policy reform, we apply a regression discontinuity approach to establish a causal relationship between parental leave policies and the probability for mothers to become entrepreneurs (i.e., “mompreneurs”). We find that a decrease in the generosity of parental leave lowers the odds of mothers to become self-employed by 17%. We show additional evidence that suggests that this is particularly due to the reduced period of paid parental leave.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

SeriesROA Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • h31 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: Household
  • j10 - Demographic Economics: General
  • j20 - Demand and Supply of Labor: General
  • l26 - Entrepreneurship


  • female entrepreneurship
  • mompreneurs
  • parental leave
  • policy reform
  • female labor supply

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