Does Maternity Leave Encourage Higher birth Rates? An Analysis of the Australian Labour Market
This paper uses data from the 2003 HILDA Survey to assess the impact of maternity leave on the incidence of pregnancy among Australian women. The empirical analysis accounts for the fact that data on maternity leave is unobserved for non-working women and applies a Heckprobit selection model to control for potential sample selection bias. The analysis finds that the availability of maternity leave can significantly elevate pregnancy rates but this effect depends on a woman’s age and whether maternity leave is paid or unpaid. The findings imply that the implementation of national paid maternity leave legislation in Australia would work to encourage women to bring forward the timing of childbirths and help ease the economic pressures of the ageing population.
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Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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