Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Environmental Studies and Economics

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors, Environmental Studies Electronic Thesis

First Advisor

Jon Erickson, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Stephanie Seguino, Ph. D.


Feminist economics, ecological economics, reproductive economy, care work, work reduction, parental leave


Degrowth is the purposeful reduction of energy and materials use in production and consumption, particularly in economic sectors that do not support social and ecological wellbeing. Feminist ecological economics positions distributive justice at the center of degrowth discourse. This research project argues that paid parental leave is a gender-just degrowth policy through the mechanisms of work reduction and care work valuation. Work reduction policies should reduce energy and material throughputs without negatively impacting quality of life and well-being, and while distributing work justly among genders. This study uses an ordinal logistic regression to explore the relationship between life satisfaction and paid parental leave policies among OECD countries. The analysis finds a small positive association between paid maternity leave and life satisfaction, a small negative association between paid paternity leave and life satisfaction, and no relationship between paid gender-neutral parental leave and life satisfaction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.