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The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe

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  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Abstract

This study investigates the economic consequences of parental leave mandates using data for 16 European countries over the 1969 through 1988 period. Since women use virtually all of the family leave in most nations, men constitute a reasonable comparison group and the natural experiment in most of the analysis involves examining how changes in leave entitlements affect the gap between female and male labor market outcomes. The employment-to-populations ratios of women in their prime childbearing years are also compared to those of older females, as a function of changes in leave regulations. Parental leave mandates are associated with increases in total employment but appear to have a more modest effect on weekly work hours and there is some evidence that women pay for entitlements to extended leave by receiving lower relative wages. The econometric estimates are sensitive to the inclusion of controls for time-varying country effects and sex-specific within-country time-trends.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5688.

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Date of creation: Jul 1996
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Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 108, no. 1 (February 1998): 285-317. Published as "The Economic Consequences of Labor Mobility", Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 41, no. 1 (1987): 30-42.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5688

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  1. Jonathan Gruber & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "The Incidence of Mandated Employer-Provided Insurance: Lessons from Workers' Compensation Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 111-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kuhn, Peter, 1992. "Mandatory Notice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 117-37, April.
  3. Jacob Alex Klerman & Arleen Leibowitz, 1994. "The Work-Employment Distinction among New Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 277-303.
  4. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  5. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
  6. Klerman, J. & Leibowitz, A., 1995. "Labor Supply Effects of State Maternity Leave Legislation," Papers 95-24, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  7. Alan Krueger, 1994. "Observations on Employment-Based Government Mandates, With Particular Reference to Health Insurance," Working Papers 702, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Blackburn, McKinley L., 1997. "Misspecified skedastic functions in grouped-data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-8, August.
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