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Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Yoshio Higuchi

    (Keio University, Department of Business and Commerce, Tokyo, Japan)

  • Jane Waldfogel

    () (Columbia University, School of Social Work, 622 West 113th Street, New York, NY 10025, USA)

  • Masahiro Abe

    (Hitotsubashi University, Institute of Economics, Tokyo, Japan)

Abstract

This paper uses labour force survey data to examine the employment rates and employment decisions of women with young children in the United States, Britain and Japan. Our results confirm that young children have a very strong negative effect on women's employment; this effect is most pronounced in Britain. We then take advantage of panel data to investigate the effects of family leave coverage on women's job retention after childbirth. We find that family leave coverage increases the likelihood that a woman will return to her employer after childbirth in all three countries, with a particularly marked effect in Japan. This result suggests that the recent expansions in family leave coverage in the sample countries are likely to lead to increased employment of women after childbirth.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:12:y:1999:i:4:p:523-545
    Note: Received: 10 July 1997/Accepted: 8 June 1998
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family leave · maternity leave · women's employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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