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

Listed author(s):
  • Charles L. Baum II


    (Middle Tennessee State University)

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.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 69 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 772-799

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:69:4:y:2003:p:772-799
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