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The impact of parental benefits on disadvantaged households

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Havet, N., Lacroix, G., & Plantier, M.
Publication Date: 
19 Feb 2024


Over the past 25 years, the Government of Quebec (Canada) has introduced a number of relatively novel policies aimed at fighting poverty such as the Universal Child Care Program (UCCP) in 1997 and the Quebec Parental Insurance Program (QPIP) in 2006. Since its inception, the QPIP has provided a means-tested supplementary benefits scheme for disadvantaged households. The scheme yields a well-defined kink in the benefits schedule with respect to two entirely exogenous criteria. Using the QPIP administrative data files from 2006 to 2017, we estimate the causal impact of the supplemental benefits on leave duration and participation of poor households within a sharp Regression Kink Design (RKD) approach. Our results indicate that single mothers are relatively responsive to additional benefits. Conversely, partnered mothers are not found to respond to the supplemental benefits, irrespective of fathers’ own participation in the parental leave. The Canadian government is currently considering introducing a similar parental leave program. Our results may prove useful for the design of the program.