Economics
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Anna Raute

Anna Raute

Anna Raute is a PhD in Economics candidate at UCL and a PhD scholar at the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, working under the supervision of Uta Schönberg and Christian Dustmann.
Her research is in Applied Microeconomics. In her Job Market paper she studies the effects of financial incentives on fertility behaviour exploiting a reform in maternity leave benefits. In previous work, she has analysed the effect of public childcare provision on children.

  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Public Economics
  • Economics of Education
  • Labour Economics.

Do financial incentives affect fertility - Evidence from a reform in maternity leave benefits 


I assess the effects of changes in financial incentives on fertility arising from a reform in parental leave benefits in Germany. The reform increased the financial incentives to have a child for higher educated and higher-earning women considerably. First I find large discontinuous jumps in overall monthly birth rates nine months after the passing of the law and an increasing trend in birth rates after the discontinuity. Second, I exploit the large differential changes in parental leave benefits across education and income groups to estimate the causal effect of parental leave benefits on fertility. I find a positive, statistically significant effect of an increase in benefits on fertility, which is mainly driven by women in the middle and upper-end of the education and income distribution. My findings suggest that earnings dependent parental benefits, which compensate women for their opportunity cost of childbearing accordingly, could be a successful means to increase the fertility rate of high-skilled and higher-earning women and to reduce the disparity in fertility rates with respect to mothers’ education and earnings.