The optimal design of parental leave policies and gender equality: mismatch of skills across genders

Project Summary:

The goal of this study is to understand the welfare consequences from long-term skill mismatches due to childbirth and how maternity leave policies can help alleviate such mismatches. This research focuses on job match quality between men and women through joint decision-making, and its contribution to the gender wage gap. While the gender wage gap has been studied in relation to occupation or sector type, the job match paradigm within the context of household decision-making is less understood. Findings will be relevant to discussions of effective federal paid leave policies, among others.


Linh Tô is a PhD candidate in Economics at Harvard University where she is also a Research Fellow of the Weatherhead Initiative on Gender Inequality. Her research interests include labor economics and gender inequality, with a focus on labor supply and job match quality. In particular, she explores daily labor supply, the role of referrals, and the impact of joint household decision making and parental leave policies on the gender wage gap. Previously, she was a Research Professional at University of Chicago Booth School of Business.