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The Effects Of Government-Mandated Family Leave On Employer Family Leave Policies

  • CHARLES L. BAUM

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave. However, studies find either small or insignificant effects of the legislation on employment, work, leave-taking, and wages. Perhaps employees are unable to use the leave because it is unpaid or they do not need family leave because they already may take off work via vacation, sick leave, and disability leave policies. If so, then family leave legislation may have increased employer-provided family leave without corresponding effects on employment-related outcomes. This article examines family leave legislation's effects on employers' family leave policies, finding positive effects. (JEL "J1, J2, J3") Copyright 2006 Western Economic Association International.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 432-445

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Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:24:y:2006:i:3:p:432-445
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  1. Gruber, J., 1992. "The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence from Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity," Working papers 92-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 772-799, April.
  3. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  4. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Health Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," NBER Working Papers 4469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
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