IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jhecon/v76y2021ics0167629621000163.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Maternity leave and children's health outcomes in the long-term

Author

Listed:
  • Fabel, Marc

Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of the length of maternity leave on children's health outcomes in the long-run. My quasi-experimental design evaluates an expansion in maternity leave coverage from two to six months, which occurred in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1979. The expansion came into effect after a sharp cutoff date and significantly increased the time working mothers stayed at home with their newborns during the first six months after childbirth. Using this cutoff date as a source of exogenous variation, I exploit German hospital registry data, which contains detailed information on the universe of inpatients’ diagnoses from 1995–2014. By tracking the health of treated and control children from age 16 up to age 35, this study provides new insights into the trajectory of health differentials over the life-cycle. I find that the legislative change generated positive long-term health effects: My intention-to-treat estimates show that children born after the implementation of the reform experience fewer hospital admissions and are less likely to be diagnosed with mental and behavioral disorders.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabel, Marc, 2021. "Maternity leave and children's health outcomes in the long-term," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:76:y:2021:i:c:s0167629621000163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2021.102431
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629621000163
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2021.102431?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2016. "Early Childhood Environment, Breastfeeding and the Formation of Preferences," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 882, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Randall Akee & William Copeland & E. Jane Costello & Emilia Simeonova, 2018. "How Does Household Income Affect Child Personality Traits and Behaviors?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(3), pages 775-827, March.
    3. Jan Ondrich & Katharina C. Spieß & Qing Yang, 2002. "The Effect of Maternity Leave on Women's Pay in Germany 1984-1994," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 289, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Stearns, Jenna, 2015. "The effects of paid maternity leave: Evidence from Temporary Disability Insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 85-102.
    5. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2012. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1927-1956, August.
    6. Baum, Charles II, 2003. "The effect of state maternity leave legislation and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act on employment and wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 573-596, October.
    7. Jochen Kluve & Marcus Tamm, 2013. "Parental leave regulations, mothers’ labor force attachment and fathers’ childcare involvement: evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 983-1005, July.
    8. Rafael Lalive & Analía Schlosser & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2014. "Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 219-265.
    9. Ahammer, Alexander & Halla, Martin & Schneeweis, Nicole, 2020. "The effect of prenatal maternity leave on short and long-term child outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    10. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    11. Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2012. "Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Children's Long-Term Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 190-224, July.
    12. Aline Bütikofer & Julie Riise & Meghan M. Skira, 2021. "The Impact of Paid Maternity Leave on Maternal Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 67-105, February.
    13. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2000. "Parental leave and child health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 931-960, November.
    14. Daniel Avdic & Arizo Karimi, 2018. "Modern Family? Paternity Leave and Marital Stability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 283-307, October.
    15. Beuchert, Louise Voldby & Humlum, Maria Knoth & Vejlin, Rune, 2016. "The length of maternity leave and family health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 55-71.
    16. Gordon B. Dahl & Katrine V. Løken & Magne Mogstad & Kari Vea Salvanes, 2016. "What Is the Case for Paid Maternity Leave?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 655-670, October.
    17. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    18. Rita Ginja & Jenny Jans & Arizo Karimi, 2020. "Parental Leave Benefits, Household Labor Supply, and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 261-320.
    19. Hilary Hoynes & Doug Miller & David Simon, 2015. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 172-211, February.
    20. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    21. Uta Schönberg & Johannes Ludsteck, 2014. "Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Mothers' Labor Market Outcomes after Childbirth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 469-505.
    22. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    23. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 251-256, May.
    24. Lawrence M. Berger & Jennifer Hill & Jane Waldfogel, 2005. "Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health and development in the US," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 29-47, February.
    25. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz, 2005. "Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 72(1), pages 16-41, July.
    26. Morrill, Melinda Sandler, 2011. "The effects of maternal employment on the health of school-age children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 240-257, March.
    27. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
    28. Karsten Hank & Michaela R. Kreyenfeld, 2001. "Childcare and fertility in (western) Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-019, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    29. Pedro Carneiro & Katrine V. Løken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2015. "A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long-Run Outcomes of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(2), pages 365-412.
    30. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    31. Anna Aizer & Shari Eli & Joseph Ferrie & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2016. "The Long-Run Impact of Cash Transfers to Poor Families," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 935-971, April.
    32. Sayour, Nagham, 2019. "The impact of maternal care on child development: Evidence from sibling spillover effects of a parental leave expansion," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 167-186.
    33. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1363-1402.
    34. Bullinger, Lindsey Rose, 2019. "The Effect of Paid Family Leave on Infant and Parental Health in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 101-116.
    35. Kevin Milligan & Mark Stabile, 2011. "Do Child Tax Benefits Affect the Well-Being of Children? Evidence from Canadian Child Benefit Expansions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 175-205, August.
    36. Huebener, Mathias & Kuehnle, Daniel & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2019. "Parental leave policies and socio-economic gaps in child development: Evidence from a substantial benefit reform using administrative data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    37. Baker, Michael & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 871-887, July.
    38. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2013. "Effects of early maternal employment on maternal health and well-being," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 285-301, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chuard, Caroline, 2020. "Womb at work: The missing impact of maternal employment on newborn health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    2. Huebener, Mathias & Kuehnle, Daniel & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2019. "Parental leave policies and socio-economic gaps in child development: Evidence from a substantial benefit reform using administrative data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    3. Bullinger, Lindsey Rose, 2019. "The Effect of Paid Family Leave on Infant and Parental Health in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 101-116.
    4. Canaan, Serena, 2019. "Parental Leave, Household Specialization and Children's Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 12420, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Ginja, Rita & Jans, Jenny & Karimi, Arizo, 2017. "Parental Investments in Early Life and Child Outcomes. Evidence from Swedish Parental Leave Rules," Working Papers in Economics 17/17, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    6. Natalia Danzer & Victor Lavy, 2018. "Paid Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 81-117, February.
    7. Girsberger, Esther Mirjam & Hassani Nezhad, Lena & Karunanethy, Kalaivani & Lalive, Rafael, 2021. "Mothers at Work: How Mandating Paid Maternity Leave Affects Employment, Earnings and Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 14605, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Tudor, Simona, 2020. "Financial incentives, fertility and early life child outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    9. LEBIHAN, Laetitia & MAO TAKONGMO, Charles Olivier, 2019. "The Effect of Paid Parental Leave on Breastfeeding, Parental Health and Behavior," MPRA Paper 95719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Dominic Richardson & UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, 2018. "Key Findings on Families, Family Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals: Synthesis Report," Papers inorer948, Innocenti Research Report.
    11. Beuchert, Louise Voldby & Humlum, Maria Knoth & Vejlin, Rune, 2016. "The length of maternity leave and family health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 55-71.
    12. Ginja, Rita & Karimi, Arizo & Xiao, Pengpeng, 2020. "Employer Responses to Family Leave Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 13833, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Katrin Huber, 2019. "Changes in parental leave and young children’s non-cognitive skills," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 89-119, March.
    14. Sarah H. Bana & Kelly Bedard & Maya Rossin‐Slater, 2020. "The Impacts of Paid Family Leave Benefits: Regression Kink Evidence from California Administrative Data," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(4), pages 888-929, September.
    15. Brenøe, Anne Ardila & Canaan, Serena & Harmon, Nikolaj & Royer, Heather, 2019. "Is Parental Leave Costly for Firms and Coworkers?," IZA Discussion Papers 12870, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Nicole Guertzgen & Karsten Hank, 2018. "Maternity Leave and Mothers’ Long-Term Sickness Absence: Evidence From West Germany," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(2), pages 587-615, April.
    17. Ahammer, Alexander & Halla, Martin & Schneeweis, Nicole, 2020. "The effect of prenatal maternity leave on short and long-term child outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    18. Rita Ginja & Jenny Jans & Arizo Karimi, 2020. "Parental Leave Benefits, Household Labor Supply, and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 261-320.
    19. Maya Rossin-Slater, 2017. "Maternity and Family Leave Policy," NBER Working Papers 23069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Rodgers, Luke P., 2020. "The impact of paid family leave on household savings," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early childhood development; Health; Paid maternity leave; Long-term child outcomes; Life-cycle approach;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy

    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:eee:jhecon:v:76:y:2021:i:c:s0167629621000163. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560 .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560 .

    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.