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Policy Watch: The Family and Medical Leave Act

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Author Info

  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Abstract

This article summarizes the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act, its possible effects on labor markets, and the resulting changes in the ability of workers to take leave. The author concludes that the actual provisions of the act are quite modest and have yielded neither large benefits to workers nor imposed significant costs on employers. One reason for this is that few workers gained significant new rights to time off work because the legislation contains many exemptions and employees often had other mechanisms for obtaining leave prior to its enactment.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.3.175
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 175-186

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:175-86

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.175
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References

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  1. Klerman, J. & Leibowitz, A., 1995. "Labor Supply Effects of State Maternity Leave Legislation," Papers 95-24, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  2. Eileen Trzcinski & William T. Alpert, 1994. "Pregnancy and Parental Leave Benefits in the United States and Canada: Judicial Decisions and Legislation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 535-554.
  3. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1990. "The Effects of Mandating Benefits Packages," NBER Working Papers 3260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  7. Aghion, P. & Hermalin, B., 1990. "Legal Restrictions on Private Contracts Can Enhance Efficiency," DELTA Working Papers 90-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "Parental Leave and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 6554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Helen Levy, 2004. "Employer-Sponsored Disability Insurance: Where are the Gaps in Coverage?," NBER Working Papers 10382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Helene Jorgensen & Eileen Appelbaum, 2014. "Expanding Federal Family and Medical Leave Coverage: Who Benefits from Changes in Eligibility Requirements?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2014-02, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  4. Jane Waldfogel, 1999. "The impact of the family and medical leave act," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 281-302.
  5. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "Parental Leave Policies and Parents' Employment and Leave-Taking," NBER Working Papers 13697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ana Espinola-Arredondo & Sunita Mondal, 2009. "The effect of parental leave on female employment: evidence from state policies," Working Papers 2008-15, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  7. Jacob Klerman & Arleen Leibowitz, 1999. "Job continuity among new mothers," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 145-155, May.
  8. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2009. "Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 14660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Henrekson, Magnus & Stenkula, Mikael, 2009. "Why Are There So Few Female Top Executives in Egalitarian Welfare States?," Working Paper Series 786, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  10. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "How Well Do Parents With Young Children Combine Work and Family Life," NBER Working Papers 10247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2008. "Accommodating Families," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2008-004, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  12. Whitney Schott, 2012. "Going Back Part-time: Family Leave Legislation and Women’s Return to Work," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 1-30, February.
  13. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
  14. Henrekson, Magnus & Dreber, Anna, 2004. "Female Career Success: Institutions, Path Dependence and Psychology," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 574, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 27 Jan 2005.
  15. Dorothea Alewell, Kerstin Pull, 2001. "An Internatioal Comparison and Assessment of Maternity Leave Regulation," Working Paper Series A 2001-02, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  16. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.

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