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Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates

  • Baker, Michael
  • Milligan, Kevin

Public health agencies around the world have renewed efforts to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding. Maternity leave mandates present an economic policy that could help achieve these goals. We study their efficacy, focusing on a significant increase in maternity leave mandates in Canada. We find very large increases in mothers' time away from work post-birth and in the attainment of critical breastfeeding duration thresholds. We also look for impacts of the reform on self-reported indicators of maternal and child health captured in our data. For most indicators we find no effect.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-4S01WF8-1/1/92ee6a2d5a7ec0351530e8f889972290
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 871-887

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:871-887
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Sakiko Tanaka, 2005. "Parental leave and child health across OECD countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages F7-F28, 02.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  3. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2000. "Parental leave and child health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 931-960, November.
  4. Kevin Milligan & Mark Stabile, 2004. "The Integration of Child Tax Credits and Welfare: Evidence from the National Child Benefit Program," NBER Working Papers 10968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Tullio Jappelli & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1998. "Testing For Liquidity Constraints In Euler Equations With Complementary Data Sources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 251-262, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Pinka Chatterji & Kevin Frick, 2005. "Does Returning to Work After Childbirth Affect Breastfeeding Practices?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 315-335, 09.
  8. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Evidence From Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," NBER Working Papers 13826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  10. Milligan, Kevin & Stabile, Mark, 2007. "The integration of child tax credits and welfare: Evidence from the Canadian National Child Benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 305-326, February.
  11. repec:fth:pennfi:69 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Brian Roe & Leslie Whittington & Sara Fein & Mario Teisl, 1999. "Is there competition between breast-feeding and maternal employment?," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 157-171, May.
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