IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bejeap/v10y2010i1n6.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Leaves and Leaving: The Family and Medical Leave Act and the Decline in Maternal Labor Force Participation

Author

Listed:
  • Goodpaster Natalie K

    () (Analysis Group, Inc.)

Abstract

Since the mid-1990s, there has been a steady decrease in the labor force participation of married women with children under the age of six. There is little empirical evidence that changes in demographics are responsible for the falling participation rates. Rather, it appears that this trend is concentrated amongst women with children under the age of two and that federal maternity leave mandates are most responsible. I estimate the effect of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on participation by using the FMLA as a natural experiment and exploiting state-level differentiation in maternity leave statutes. Theoretically, maternity leave statutes intend to preserve job tenure for expecting mothers. However, if an employed mother on maternity leave learns that her value for staying at home exceeds her value from working, she will exit the labor force once the leave expires. Difference-in-differences estimates show that after the FMLA, employed and expecting married mothers who live in an area without state-mandated maternity leave are 2.7 percentage points more likely to leave the labor force after taking maternity leave than those who live in an area with state-mandated maternity leave. As a sensitivity test, I evaluate married women without infant children and single women as additional control groups to estimate difference-in-difference-in-differences effects of the FMLA. Altogether, the increase in the proportion of mothers leaving the labor force due to federally-mandated maternity leave accounts for almost two-thirds of the overall fall in labor force participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodpaster Natalie K, 2010. "Leaves and Leaving: The Family and Medical Leave Act and the Decline in Maternal Labor Force Participation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2010.10.1/bejeap.2010.10.1.1996/bejeap.2010.10.1.1996.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-481, August.
    2. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
    3. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2004. "Decomposing differences in the first moment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 275-280, February.
    4. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1063-1106, December.
    5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    6. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    7. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    8. Claudia Goldin, 2014. "A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 313-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2000. "Employment and child-care choices in Canada and the United States," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 435-470, May.
    10. Thomas Cornelissen & Katja Sonderhof, 2009. "Partial effects in probit and logit models with a triple dummy-variable interaction term," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(4), pages 571-583, December.
    11. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
    12. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    13. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2004. "Taxes and the labor market participation of married couples: the earned income tax credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1931-1958, August.
    14. Gray, Jeffrey S, 1998. "Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 628-642, June.
    15. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
    16. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    17. Andrew Grodner & Thomas J. Kniesner, 2006. "Social Interactions in Labor Supply," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1226-1248, December.
    18. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1063-1106, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cipollone, Angela & Patacchini, Eleonora & Vallanti, Giovanna, 2012. "Women’s Labour Market Performance in Europe: Trends and Shaping Factors," CEPS Papers 7329, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    2. Angela Cipollone & Eleonora Patacchini & Giovanna Vallanti, 2013. "Women Labor Market Performance In Europe:Novel Evidence On Trends And Shaping Factors," Working Papers LuissLab 13107, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    3. Angela Cipollone & Eleonora Patacchini & Giovanna Vallanti, 2014. "Female labour market participation in Europe: novel evidence on trends and shaping factors," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, December.
    4. Dunbar, Geoffrey R., 2013. "The Family and Medical Leave Act and the labor productivity of parents," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 334-336.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.