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The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?

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  • Waldfogel, Jane

Abstract

In the United States and Britain, there is a 'family gap' between the wages of mothers and other women. Differential returns to marital and parental status explain 40-50 percent of the gender gap. Another 30-40 percent is explained by women's lower levels of work experience and lower returns to experience. Taking advantage of 'quasi experiments' in job-protected maternity leave in the United States and Britain, this article finds that women who had leave coverage and returned to work after childbirth received a wage premium that offset the negative wage effects of children. Copyright 1998 by University of Chicago Press.

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  • Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-545, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:16:y:1998:i:3:p:505-45
    DOI: 10.1086/209897
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