Maternity Leave and the Employment of New Mothers in the United States

Journal of Population Economics (Impact Factor: 0.92). 06/2004; 17(2):331-349. DOI: 10.1007/s00148-003-0159-9
Source: RePEc


We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the relationships between maternity leave coverage and U.S. women’s post-birth leave taking and employment decisions from 1988 to 1996. We find that women who were employed before birth are working much more quickly post-birth than women who were not. We also find that, among mothers who were employed pre-birth, those in jobs that provided leave coverage are more likely to take a leave of up to 12 weeks, but return more quickly after 12 weeks. Our results suggest that maternity leave coverage is related to leave taking, as well as the length of time that a new mother stays home after a birth. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

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    • "We find a large positive association between nondiscrimination and women's employment, an association that is much stronger among the relatively smaller firms and among countries that are relatively richer and those with a larger proportion of women in total population. Gender disparity in various economic and social dimensions is now being recognized as a pervasive phenomenon across the world (R. Hausmann, European and other countries (Christopher Ruhm 1998; Charles L. Baum, II 2003; Lawrence M. Berger and Jane Waldfogel 2004). This study contributes to the literature in several ways by focusing on nondiscrimination and its relationship with women's employment in manufacturing firms for a cross-section of fifty-eight developing countries. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study explores the relationship between mandating a nondiscrimination clause in hiring practices along gender lines and the employment of women versus men in fifty-eight developing countries. Using data from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys (2006–1040. World Bank. 2006–10. “Enterprise Surveys.” all references), the study finds a strong positive relationship between the nondiscrimination clause and women's relative to men's employment. The relationship is robust to a large number of controls at the firm and country level. Results also show sharp heterogeneity in the relationship between the nondiscrimination clause and women's versus men's employment, with the relationship being much bigger in richer countries and in countries with more women in the population as well as among relatively smaller firms.
    Feminist Economics 02/2015; forthcoming(4). DOI:10.1080/13545701.2014.1000354 · 0.62 Impact Factor
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    • "In the economic and sociological literature, most of the research on parental leave policies has focused on the impact of maternal leave on mothers' employment (see, for instance, Berger and Waldfogel 2004; Gustafsson et al. 1996; Kenjoh 2005; and Rønsen and Sundström 1996), on child health and development (see, for instance, Baum 2003; Ruhm 2000; and Winergarden and Bracy 1995) and mothers' health (see, for instance, Chatterji and Markowitz 2005). However, only a few studies focus on fathers' parental leave, mainly because many OECD countries either do not grant or grant very little paid leave to fathers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Female labour force participation is high in Norway but sickness absence rates are higher for women than for men. This may be partly a result of unequal sharing of childcare in the family. In this article, we consider the effect of paternity leave on sickness absence among women who have recently given birth to a child. A 4-week paternity quota is reserved for the father but there is also a larger pool of leave days that parents can share among them as they wish. The dependent variable is absence due to own sickness extending 16 days, which is compensated by social insurance. We apply full population panel data 1992–2003 from administrative sources. Our main result is that in families where fathers take more leave than the paternity quota, the incidence of sickness absence among mothers is reduced by about 1.3 percentage points from an average level of 23%. The evidence on leave up to the paternity quota is more mixed but indicates that days of sick leave are reduced.
    European Sociological Review 08/2014; 30(4). DOI:10.1093/esr/jcu058 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    • "Their sample is too small to permit this identification strategy. Several papers, including Waldfogel (1998), Waldfogel et al. (1999), Berger and Waldfogel (2004) and Hashimoto (2004) examine the effect of maternity leave coverage which is provided voluntarily by employers, as opposed to maternity leave coverage which is mandated by the government. This approach may not uncover the causal impact of maternity leave coverage on women's post-birth careers as women may self-select into jobs that provide generous maternity leave coverage. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the impact of five major expansions in maternity leave coverage in Ger-many on mothers' labor market outcomes after childbirth. To identify the causal impact of the reforms, we use a difference-in-difference design that compares labor market outcomes of mothers who give birth shortly before and shortly after a change in maternity leave legislation in years of policy changes, and years when no changes have taken place. Each expansion in leave coverage reduced mothers' post-birth employment rates in the short-run. Four out of the five expansions in leave coverage had only a small effect on women's employment rates and labor market income after childbirth in the long-run, six years after childbirth. The common feature of these reforms is that the job protection period is as long as or exceeds the maternity benefit period. The reform that extended the maternity benefit period beyond the job protection period, in contrast, worsened women's position in the labor market after childbirth.. We thank the IAB for their data support. We thank Mark Bils, Gordon Dahl, Christian Dustmann, Ronni Pavan, participants at SOLE meetings in San Francisco, the World Congress of the Econometric Society in Vienna, the IZA/SOLE Transatlantic Meetings of Labor Economists, and seminar participants in Chicago GSB, the Rand Corporation, and Rochester for helpful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are our own.
    Journal of Labor Economics 07/2014; 32(3). DOI:10.1086/675078 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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