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Does Maternity Leave Encourage Higher birth Rates? An Analysis of the Australian Labour Market

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  • Leonora Risse

    () (University of Queensland)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonora Risse, 2006. "Does Maternity Leave Encourage Higher birth Rates? An Analysis of the Australian Labour Market," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(4), pages 343-370, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:9:y:2006:i:4:p:343-370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Muellbauer, 1981. "Linear Aggregation in Neoclassical Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 21-36.
    2. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-589, August.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-564, April.
    4. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 116-121.
    5. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 176-215, June.
    6. Andrew Dilnot & Alan Duncan, 1992. "Lone mothers, family credit and paid work," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, pages 1-21.
    7. Creedy, John & Duncan, Alan, 2002. " Behavioural Microsimulation with Labour Supply Responses," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 1-39, February.
    8. Kennan, John, 1988. "An Econometric Analysis of Fluctuations in Aggregate Labor Supply and Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 317-333, March.
    9. Bergmann, Barbara R, 1990. "Micro-to-Macro Simulation: A Primer with a Labor Market Example," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 99-116.
    10. Alogoskoufis, George S, 1987. "On Intertemporal Substitution and Aggregate Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 938-960, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bassford, Micaela & Fisher, Hayley, 2016. "Bonus babies? The impact of paid parental leave on fertility intentions," Working Papers 2016-04, University of Sydney, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demographic Trends and Forecasts; General Migration Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth Demographic Economics; Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • 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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