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The length of maternity leave and family health

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  • Beuchert, Louise Voldby
  • Humlum, Maria Knoth
  • Vejlin, Rune

Abstract

We study the relationship between the length of paid maternity leave and the physical and psychological health of the family. Using a reform of the parental leave scheme in Denmark that increased the number of weeks of leave with full benefit compensation, we estimate the effect of the length of maternity leave on a range of health indicators including hospital admissions for both mother, child and siblings and the probability of the mother receiving antidepressants. The reform increased the average post-birth maternity leave by 32 days. We find some evidence that the increase in the length of paid maternity leave matters for maternal and sibling health outcomes, but only very limited evidence for the child health outcomes. This is in line with the existing evidence that tends to find limited effects of maternity leave on children's educational and labor market outcomes. Our results suggest that any beneficial effects of increasing the length of paid maternity leave are greater for low-resource families.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:43:y:2016:i:c:p:55-71
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2016.06.007
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0654-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gallen, Yana, 2016. "The effect of maternity leave extensions on firms and coworkers," MPRA Paper 73284, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Aug 2016.
    3. Mathias Huebener & Daniel Kuehnle & C. Katharina Spiess, 2017. "Paid Parental Leave and Child Development: Evidence from the 2007 German Parental Benefit Reform and Administrative Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1651, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2018:n:438 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maternity leave; Family health; Regression discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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