Reader T.H. said this chart of paid parental leave in different countries is inaccurate, and sends this more up-to-date chart, based on Sakiko Tanaka’s 2005 article “Parental leave and child health across OECD countries” ([p F7-F28] Economic Journal Volume 115 Issue 501):
The baseline point, however, remains the same. It’s standard for countries to offer a certain amount of mandatory paid parental leave as a recognition of the special role parents play in our society (in effect, this measure lowers everyone’s wages slightly and then provides a benefit only to parents, thus enacting a small transfer of resources from non-parents to parents). In the United States, everything must surrender beneath the all-powerful God of flexible labor markets, and “pro-family” conservatives seem fine with that.