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Maternity Leave and Children’s Cognitive and Behavioral Development

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  • Michael Baker
  • Kevin S. Milligan

Abstract

We investigate the impact of maternity leave on the cognitive and behavioral development of children at ages 4 and 5. The impact is identified by legislated increases in the duration of maternity leave in Canada, which significantly increased the amount of maternal care children received in the second half of their first year. We carefully document how other observable inputs to child development vary across cohorts of children exposed to different maternity leave regimes. Our results indicate that maternity leave changes had no positive effect on indices of children’s cognitive and behavioral development. We uncover a small negative impact on PPVT and Who Am I? scores, which suggests the timing of the mother/child separation due to the mother’s return to work may be important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17105.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17105

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References

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  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  2. Carneiro, Pedro & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "A Flying Start? Long Term Consequences of Maternal Time Investments in Children During Their First Year of Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5362, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2008. "Childcare Policy and Cognitive Outcomes of Children: Results from a Large Scale Quasi-Experiment on Universal Childcare in Canada," Cahiers de recherche 0823, CIRPEE.
  4. Baker, Michael & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 871-887, July.
  5. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2010. "Evidence from Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  6. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 655-691, October.
  7. Liu, Qian & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "The Duration of Paid Parental Leave and Children's Scholastic Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 4244, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. What’s the impact of maternity leave on the cognitive and behavioral development of children?
    by Chris Blattman in Chris Blattman on 2011-06-07 06:37:51
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Cited by:
  1. Natalia Danzer & Victor Lavy, 2013. "Parental Leave and Children’s Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform," NBER Working Papers 19452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ruhm, Christopher J. & Waldfogel, Jane, 2011. "Long-Term Effects of Early Childhood Care and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 6149, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sara Cools & Jon H. Fiva & Lars Johannessen Kirkebøen, 2011. "Causal effects of paternity leave on children and parents," Discussion Papers 657, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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