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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, following up previous research on these children at younger ages. The impact is identified by legislated increases in the duration of maternity leave in Canada, which significantly increased the amount of first-year maternal care. Our results indicate no positive effect on indices of children’s cognitive and behavioral development. We uncover a small negative impact on cognitive scores, which may indicate the timing of the mother/child separation due to the mother’s return to work plays a role.

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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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  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Evidence From Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," NBER Working Papers 13826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Pedro Carneiro & Katrine V. Loken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2010. "A flying start? Long term consequences of maternal time investments in children during their first year of life," CeMMAP working papers CWP38/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Liu Qian & Skans Oskar Nordstrom, 2010. "The Duration of Paid Parental Leave and Children's Scholastic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, January.
  8. 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.
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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. Danzer, Natalia & Lavy, Victor, 2013. "Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 7626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Baker, Michael, 2011. "Universal Early Childhood Interventions: What is the Evidence Base?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-29, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
  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.
  4. Felfe, Christina & Nollenberger, Natalia & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2012. "Can't Buy Mommy's Love? Universal Childcare and Children's Long-Term Cognitive Development," IZA Discussion Papers 7053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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).
  6. Rieck, Karsten Marshall Elseth, 2012. "Does Child Care Affect Parents’ Sickness Absence? Evidence From A Norwegian Paternity Leave Reform," Working Papers in Economics 14/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.

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