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Maternity and Parental Benefits in Canada: Are there Behavioural Implications?

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  • Shelley A. Phipps

Abstract

This paper uses micro data from the 1988/89/90 Labour Market Activities Survey to study some behavioural implications of the Canadian maternity/parental benefits system. We find, first, that fertility behaviour is not significantly influenced by the availability of benefits, and, second, that there is no evidence that women adjusted their labour-supply behaviour in order to gain access to benefits. We also examine who is potentially eligible for maternity/parental benefits. Teenaged new mothers, women with little education and those experiencing difficulty in the labour market are less likely to be eligible. Given the evidence on lack of significant behavioural response, it would thus seem reasonable to ease access to these benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Shelley A. Phipps, 2000. "Maternity and Parental Benefits in Canada: Are there Behavioural Implications?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(4), pages 415-436, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:26:y:2000:i:4:p:415-436
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
    2. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    4. Douglas E. Hyatt & William J. Milne, 1991. "Can Public Policy Affect Fertility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(1), pages 77-85, March.
    5. Leslie A. Pal, 1985. "Maternity Benefits and Unemployment Insurance: A Question of Policy Design," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 11(3), pages 551-560, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2005. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment and Infant Health?," NBER Working Papers 11135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Xiaoling Ang, 2015. "The Effects of Cash Transfer Fertility Incentives and Parental Leave Benefits on Fertility and Labor Supply: Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 263-288, June.
    3. Adrienne ten Cate, 2003. "The Impact of Provincial Maternity and Parental Leave Policies on Employment Rates of Women with Young Children in Canada," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-03, McMaster University.
    4. John M. Evans, 2002. "Work/Family Reconciliation, Gender Wage Equity and Occupational Segregation: The Role of Firms and Public Policy," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(s1), pages 187-216, May.
    5. 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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