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Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Children's Long-Term Outcomes

Author

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  • Christian Dustmann
  • Uta Schönberg

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of three major expansions in maternity leave coverage in Germany on children's long-run outcomes. To identify the causal impact of the reforms, we use a difference-indifference design that compares outcomes of children born shortly before and shortly after a change in maternity leave legislation in years of policy changes, and in years when no changes have taken place. We find no support for the hypothesis that the expansions in leave coverage improved children's outcomes, despite a strong impact on mothers' return to work behavior after childbirth. (JEL J13, J16, J22, J32)

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2012. "Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Children's Long-Term Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 190-224, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:190-224 Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.190
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Valerie A. Ramey & Neville Francis, 2009. "A Century of Work and Leisure," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 189-224.
    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, 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).
    4. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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