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Female labour supply and household employment shocks: Maternity leave as an insurance mechanism

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  • Tominey, Emma

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of unpaid maternity leave in providing household insurance against paternal employment shocks. The main outcome is the timing of a mothers׳ return to work after having a child. Exploiting the US Family and Medical Leave Act, we find that mothers eligible for maternity leave speed up their return to work in response to a paternal shock, with the conditional probability of being in work 49% higher than in households with no unpaid maternity leave. Further evidence is provided on the insurance role of unpaid maternity leave through (i) no significant interaction between paid maternity leave and the paternal shock and (ii) smoothing of consumption effects of the shock for households covered by unpaid leave.

Suggested Citation

  • Tominey, Emma, 2016. "Female labour supply and household employment shocks: Maternity leave as an insurance mechanism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 256-271.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:87:y:2016:i:c:p:256-271
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.04.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 14-33.
    2. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2016. "Labor Market Effects of US Sick Pay Mandates," IZA Discussion Papers 9867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female labour supply; Insurance; Maternity leave;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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