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The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth

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  • Charles L. Baum II

    () (Middle Tennessee State University)

Abstract

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, 12 states and the District of Columbia passed maternity leave legislation (MLL) allowing mothers a period of leave from work after childbirth. In 1993, President Clinton signed the first piece of federal MLL, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Similar to state legislation, the FMLA guarantees 12 weeks of unpaid leave for eligible mothers. I evaluate the effect of MLL on the incidence of leave taking, the probability that mothers will eventually return to work at their prechildbirth jobs, and the timing of their return. The results indicate that the legislation increases the number of mothers who eventually return to their prechildbirth jobs but that MLL does not have a statistically significant effect on the incidence of leave taking. The results also indicate that MLL allows mothers to delay their return to work at their prechildbirth jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 772-799, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:69:4:y:2003:p:772-799
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles L. Baum, 2006. "The Effects Of Government-Mandated Family Leave On Employer Family Leave Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(3), pages 432-445, July.
    2. Barbara Hanel, 2012. "The Impact of Paid Maternity Leave on Labour Market Outcomes," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Jonathan F. Pingle, 2003. "What if welfare had no work requirements? the age of youngest child exemption and the rise in employment of single mothers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-54.
    5. 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.
    6. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 655-691, October.
    7. Whitney Schott, 2012. "Going Back Part-time: Family Leave Legislation and Women’s Return to Work," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(1), pages 1-30, February.
    8. repec:iae:iaewps:wp2016n9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Stoddard Christiana & Stock Wendy A. & Hogenson Elise, 2016. "The Impact of Maternity Leave Laws on Cesarean Delivery," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 321-364, January.
    10. Broadway, Barbara & Kalb, Guyonne & McVicar, Duncan & Martin, Bill, 2016. "The Impact of Paid Parental Leave on Labour Supply and Employment Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 9801, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Maya Rossin-Slater, 2017. "Maternity and Family Leave Policy," NBER Working Papers 23069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Schönberg, Uta & Ludsteck, Johannes, 2007. "Maternity Leave Legislation, Female Labor Supply, and the Family Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. José Molina & Víctor Montuenga, 2009. "The Motherhood Wage Penalty in Spain," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 237-251, September.
    14. Li Ma, 2014. "Economic crisis and women’s labor force return after childbirth: Evidence from South Korea," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(18), pages 511-552, August.
    15. Mohammad Amin & Asif Islam, 2015. "Does Mandating Nondiscrimination in Hiring Practices Influence Women's Employment? Evidence Using Firm-Level Data," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 28-60, October.
    16. Molina, José Alberto & Montuenga, Víctor M., 2008. "The Motherhood Wage Penalty in a Mediterranean Country: The Case of Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 3574, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Reed, Joshua & Vandegrift, Donald, 2016. "The Effect of New Jersey’s Paid Parental Leave Policy on Employment," MPRA Paper 74794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2017. "Maternity and Family Leave Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 10500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2009. "Accommodating Families," Chapters,in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. 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.
    21. Kevin Callison & Michael F. Pesko, 2016. "The Effect of Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Laws on Labor Market Outcomes, Health Care Utilization, and Health Behaviors," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 16-265, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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