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

Ruud Gerards, Pomme Theunissen

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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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
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018

Publication series

SeriesGSBE 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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