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Evidence from Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development

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  • Michael Baker
  • Kevin Milligan

Abstract

We study the impact of maternal care on early child development using an expansion in Canadian maternity leave entitlements. Following the leave expansion, mothers who took leave spent 48–58 percent more time not working in their children’s first year of life. This extra maternal care primarily crowded out home-based care by unlicensed nonrelatives and replaced full-time work. Our estimates suggest a weak impact of this increase in maternal care on indicators of child development. For example, measures of temperament and motor and social development show changes that are small and statistically insignificant.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2010. "Evidence from Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:i:1:p1-32
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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